With as many as one in eight women in the US struggling with fertility issues, why is infertility still such a taboo topic to discuss? That's the question.
The Truth About Trying, a joint project between Redbook magazine and the fertility support group RESOLVE, hopes to answer the question why infertility is such an uncomfortable topic through a series of video testimonials aimed at encouraging a more public dialogue about infertility.
"It's frustrating that our society is not more open about infertility," says Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE (via Redbook). "When women dealing with infertility can communicate with others in their situation, they get through it in a much better state of mind and also share needed information about their options."
Among the many celebrities taking part of the project is Rosie Pope, star of Bravo's Pregnant in Heels. Pope speaks candidly about her difficulties conceiving a second child—and the indifference and reluctance to talk about infertility she experienced from those around her. "A lot of people who have gone through IVF and managed to have kids shove it under the rug and pretend it never happened," says Pope. "In Hollywood, you can talk about your drug addiction or divorce, but not infertility. It's a real disservice to women."
Padma Lakshmi talks about her surprise at being diagnosed with endometriosis, a leading cause of infertility among women, just as she began her efforts to have a baby. "If I had known that I had endometriosis, I would have had my eggs frozen [at a much younger age]," says the Top Chef star. "It's very disappointing that my endometriosis was overlooked for so long."
Sherri Shepherd also opens up about the fertility struggles she experienced before going on to have son Jeffrey via IVF. "At first I was like, why is my body is not working right?" The View co-host remembers. But the funny lady still manages to find some humor in the situation. After starting IVF, "one day I had to bring my husband's sperm to the clinic. It was in a bag and I was driving around a [sharp curve] and the bag fell on the floor. I was like, 'whoa, that's my kid in there!'"
Raw, angry, funny... These videos might just do the trick to get us talking about infertility. And more of us need to than ever before, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that find approximately 12 percent of reproductive-age women in the United States—about 7.3 million—have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term. That's an increase from 9 percent in 1988.