Friday, November 20, 2015

Why UIRC?

Ashley and Jake both grew up in Utah, married young at age 23, graduated from college, landed great jobs and dreamed of a future with five children. A year after their wedding, they began trying to conceive. Month after heartbreaking month, the pregnancy tests were negative. 
 
Pregnancy announcements from friends and family started getting harder to celebrate. Reality began to set in, and with it the realization that they would need medical help in order to grow their family. Jake felt like less of a man for not being able to get his wife pregnant. Ashley felt like less of a woman, wondering what her purpose in life must be if she couldn’t be a mom. She began to sink into a dark depression, feeling like she was losing sight of her lifelong dream of having kids. 




Friends and family meant well, but the question now stung: When would they start a family? Four years, many invasive treatments, a failed adoption and thousands of dollars later, Ashley and Jake are still childless. They are the one in eight.

One of every eight couples look like everyone else, but they face issues the others may never understand. The Ashleys and Jakes of the world may share their secret in hopes of finding support, or they may choose to keep it to themselves, perhaps hoping it’ll go away if they don’t discuss it. 

One of every eight couples struggles with infertility, and many of them feel entirely alone. A recent survey of 152 individuals in Utah with infertility showed that 75% of respondents believe infertility to be the most upsetting event of their life. Additionally, research has shown that women with infertility have the same levels of anxiety and depression as do women with cancer, heart disease, and HIV+ status.

Many couples don’t know where to go for support, counseling, or treatment related to infertility. It is still a taboo topic in most circles, making it harder for those with infertility to feel like they have someone to turn to.

At the Footsteps for Fertility 5K event earlier this year in Salt Lake City where couples can win grants towards fertility treatments, UIRC’s founder, Camille, looked around and realized there was nowhere to go for infertility support. There were hundreds gathered because they were facing infertility and there was nowhere to turn and say, “I’m having a hard time. Can you help?”

We founded the Utah Infertility Resource Center in an effort to help these couples and their friends and family and bring awareness to those not currently affected by infertility. As a nonprofit run by women who have struggled or are presently struggling with infertility, we bring understanding to a condition that is too often misunderstood.

    
Using our own experiences as a foundation, we are building a safe space where couples can turn for education consultations, support groups across the state, and counseling services. UIRC bridges the gap for these struggling families. We also offer educational events to support the infertility community. We will bring awareness to those who don’t know about infertility through online awareness, community events, and advocacy.

Offering these services in Utah will benefit our community as a whole and weaken the taboo surrounding infertility.We believe that we can fill this gap in Utah, and this is just our beginning. We look forward to becoming a permanent fixture so we can serve the emotional and social needs of the infertility community in Utah for years to come 

    To learn more, like us on facebook at  

and visit our website at 

Feel free to contact us about opportunities for involvement or to help us spread the word. 

We are a registered charitable organization in the state of Utah pending 501c3 status.

Brooke Walrath, BA, is UIRC's Director of Education

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