How Infertility Affects Women

It's National Infertility Awareness Week, and surveyed more than 1,000 women who are having trouble trying to conceive. Read on for the surprising results.

By Caitlin Brody for

When you're ready to have a baby, you probably think that it's going to be easy to conceive. But it often isn't. In fact, infertility affects more than 7.3 million people (yep, both men and women) nationwide, according to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. To help raise infertility awareness, surveyed more than 1,000 women and asked them to share their experiences with infertility.

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Surprisingly, 50 percent of the women surveyed said they never thought they'd ever have trouble trying to conceive. And while 47 percent of the women surveyed experienced female infertility (this typically refers to women who have been trying to conceive for at least 12 months and are under 35, or who are over 35 and have been trying for at least six months), 21 percent didn't know what was causing it, since they hadn't visited a specialist yet. Infertility is associated with feelings of frustration, anxiety and loneliness, but it seems to bring about an inner strength too -- 62 percent of the women having trouble TTC said they often felt determined and committed.

For couples experiencing difficulty with conceiving, heading to the bedroom becomes boring. Among the 36 percent of women who said their relationship had been affected sexually, 75 percent said sex was a chore, and 73 percent said the fun and spontaneity of hanky-panky was long gone.

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But the challenges that come with having a baby may create unexpected bonding amongst couples. Of the women who have struggled with infertility, 41 percent said they've grown closer in their relationship with their partner, and 84 percent of them said they've turned to their partner for support. Who else do they turn to? Sixty-eight percent seek out support from online communities (like, while 64 percent reach out to friends and family members.

Whether you've struggled with infertility in the past, know someone who has or simply want to show women who are having trouble TTC that you care, go to to get an Infertility Awareness badge.

Photo: Shutterstock

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