Recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week in Tennessee
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This year the week of April 24 through April 30 is recognized as National Infertility Awareness Week.
A week dedicated to bringing awareness and changing the conversation around infertility. It’s an issue that doesn’t discriminate against race, class or gender.
Groups like the Tennessee Fertility Advocates dedicate their time to educate, raise awareness and advocate on fertility issues. It’s a cause that hits close to home for the founders of the organization.
“Both of us have had incredible… very difficult infertility journeys,” said Mollie Walker.
Both Walker and Lauren Brown are the co-founders of TFA, and the two childhood friends struggled with infertility for years.
“They can come and have a community of support and they don’t have to go through all the anguish that we did,” Walker said.
It’s an issue that affects many. According to data from the National Institutes of Health, 12% to 15% of couples are unable to conceive in the first year of trying.
“There’s no community. There’s no support. The stigma around infertility. They think it’s a female only issue when a third is male factor related, a third is female factor related, and a third is unexplained or both,” said Walker.
Since starting the organization, Walker has noticed more open discussions. Their group has grown to more than 7,000 members since 2020. They’re hoping to continue advocating for fertility coverage at the legislative level as well. Walker says they didn’t have insurance coverage for infertility. TFA is hoping that changes.
“We are advocating for coverage with employers and with legislation and really raising awareness is our goal,” she said, “For our employers we need to be asking ‘Do you offer coverage?’ because if you don’t, we help provide resources.”
Through their journey the two lifelong friends have brought children into the world and Walker has a message for those families out there who are struggling with infertility.
“You are seen. You’re not alone. You might feel alone but I promise you that there is so much community. Especially in our group,” she said, “Advocate for yourself. You know your body better than anyone else. You know what you need and speak up. It is okay. You have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The town of Collierville will present TFA with an official proclamation Monday, April 25, declaring National Infertility Awareness Week.
The group also received recognition from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recognizing April 25 as a day of awareness for Tennessee Fertility Advocates.
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