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Infertility may be a private affair, but it isn’t a secret. The internet and social media have allowed for a new way to talk about infertility. Now you don’t have to feel so alone. When challenged by infertility, what you say, when you say it, and how you say it all matter. Infertility is truth, it is private, but not a secret. The danger of secrets is that they lead to feelings of shame. They distance family and friends and promote misunderstandings. 

If as a couple you are determined to tell no one about your infertility, it is your right, but it may be understood by those around you who love and care about you. If you are coping with infertility and decide to tell others something, the challenge for you could be how much information to reveal.

The best thing is to simply tell the truth, perhaps not the whole truth, but some level of the truth. Less is more when it comes to talking about infertility. It depends on what you want others to know. In most instances, it is simply that you want children, and you are having trouble making that happen, but the bright side is that you are receiving good medical care. 

Infertility so often feels like an out of control experience, but by actively making decisions about privacy and secrecy, it’s possible to take back some of the lost control of your fertility. For instance, maintaining privacy while avoiding secrecy arises when you are exploring or pursuing alternative paths to parenthood such as adoption, egg or sperm donation, or surrogacy. 

When you choose egg or sperm donation, do you have an obligation to tell all to others? Share only what others really need to know. Speak simple truth but feel no need to tell the whole truth. You obviously want the respect of your privacy and are willing to share only the good news without the specifics of diagnosis and treatment.

If you are diagnosed with infertility, do not panic or despair. You are not alone. Millions of women aged 15 to 44 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.  But feeling isolated isn’t uncommon, and you can turn isolation into connection.

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time, you’re probably no stranger to negative pregnancy tests. You may think you would develop a tolerance for them after a while, and though some people do, most find each successive test harder to take. When a pregnancy test is negative after fertility treatment, the disappointment is even greater. 

The first moment after a negative pregnancy test usually brings a slight ache in the chest, but the second moment may include a hopeful thought — perhaps you could still be pregnant. You may even get this hope when your period comes. Just maybe, this test or period is a fluke. 

A negative pregnancy test doesn’t automatically take you out of the running for that cycle. Some factors increase the chances that you could still be pregnant.

It is possible that your period is still late: If you got your period, it’s highly unlikely you’re pregnant. It happens, but rarely. If you still didn’t get your period, there is always a chance you may be pregnant. If a week goes by, your period doesn’t come, and your pregnancy tests are still negative, call your doctor. There are explanations. 

You may have taken the test too early. Even the day of your expected period can be too early for many tests. Every pregnancy builds up the level of the pregnancy hormone that pregnancy tests detect,    slightly differently. Some women may not get a positive test result until they are a few days or even a week late. Getting the news that you are pregnant can be exciting after months or years of trying. Now you may feel more hopeful for your future than you have in a long time. But along with your excitement, you may also feel anxious, worried, or even scared that something may go wrong during your pregnancy and deprive you of your baby in the end.

If you have been experiencing infertility problems or had a recent miscarriage or labour loss, you may feel a little hesitant about announcing that you’re finally pregnant. While a part of you wants to share the news—to celebrate the joy with friends and loved ones—another part may be holding you back.

These kinds of feelings are normal. Why, you may ask. In many ways, you have been living on emotional tenterhooks, faced with challenges and disappointments that have gradually eroded your confidence and certainty. Even though you’ve finally achieved what you’ve been longing for, you may still have doubts and fears.

It is necessary that you accept your feelings and move on. By doing so, you can begin to weigh the benefits and consequences of sharing the news and eventually find a way to do so. By all means, maintain your privacy but avoid secrecy. It is a balancing act.

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