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When it comes to the great loves of my life, most of the slots on my list are filled by living, breathing humans, like my amazing husband and children.
But books have also earned their place within this ranking.
Since I was a little girl, I have lived and breathed all things literature.
I could wax poetic for pages and pages about all the reasons books have played a vital role in my life, but something tells me that’s not what you’re here for.
Given my deep-rooted appreciation for books, I have found myself turning to them in a multitude of different ways throughout my life, including.
One of these times was when I was hoping to conceive and struggling with PCOS infertility.
I was amazed to learn that there is an entire section of books about infertility that can greatly benefit people struggling to have a baby.
Now, I know what you might be wondering – why am I suggesting you read infertility books when the title of this post is about taking a mental break from the conception process?
Well, I wholeheartedly believe in finding comfort through connection, and reading books about infertility is not always the same as experiencing it yourself.
It’s about finding common ground with other people who’ve been on this journey of infertility with you.
It’s also about discovering options and ideas for family building you might not have considered, and learning ways to better cope when you are dealing with infertility.
Whether you’re a non-fiction or fiction fan, there are tons of great options available to help guide you through the complicated infertility process.
What are the Benefits of Reading Infertility Books?
Infertility books, including IVF treatment books and IUI books, as well as books about infertility treatments, aren’t just about providing facts and information to answer basic questions like: “what is infertility” or “how do I treat it?”
They’re also a unique example of infertility support that you might not normally think to consider.
Reading books closely associated with your own reproductive struggles can leave you feeling less isolated, which is a common psychological side effect of conception troubles.
They can also reduce the amount of stress, anxiety, and depression you might be feeling.
They can also make you laugh – something you may not have thought was possible given the gravity of your circumstances.
There is power in the connectivity offered by reading a book that taps into your own life experiences and that shares personal stories about exactly what you are going through.
Whatever your reading preference might be, I can almost guarantee you that the perfect book about infertility is out there.
Non-Fiction Books About Infertility
If you’re interested in “taking charge of your infertility” (spoiler alert: this is the title of a book we’ll be talking about soon!), non-fiction books about infertility can be a helpful addition to your collection of reproductive-related tools.
Thanks to our own personal experience and those of the fellow moms in our community, we’ve come up with a list of the best fact-based infertility books.
1. It Starts with the Egg
This book is so popular within the infertility community that, the author, Rebecca Fett, has even created companion books.
One of which is a recipe book involving the Mediterranean diet, a great option if you’re looking for fertility foods for women.
It Starts with the Egg dives into the idea that most fertility-related issues start with poor egg quality. These issues include the inability to become pregnant or recurrent miscarriage. The book discusses various proactive ways you can use to try and improve your egg quality.
2. Taking Charge of Your Fertility
With nearly 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, Taking Charge of Your Fertility has become a go-to option for women hoping to learn more about their reproductive system.
This book is an exercise in female empowerment and has even been touted as the modern-day version of the classic, Our Bodies, Ourselves by New York magazine.
Equal parts informational and comedic, it’s an easy read for anyone who wants to find out more about issues like getting pregnant, natural birth control, and reproductive health.
3. What to Expect Before You’re Expecting
From the brilliant mind of Heidi Murkoff, the co-author of the classic “pregnancy bible” What to Expect When You’re Expecting, this book has everything you need to know about how to get pregnant.
While some reviewers pointed out that the writing style can be a little too “cutesy” or even too “punny,” most agreed that it’s chock full of great information when you’re hoping to have a baby.
Fiction Books About Infertility
Sometimes, you just don’t want to read informational fertility books.
For moments like these, it might help to consider a fiction story that still has similar elements of fertility struggles, which can help you feel less alone during your battle to conceive.
Not only are the following options fantastic reads (I should know; I’ve conquered most of them), but they address infertility in beautiful, well-written ways.
1. Little Fires Everywhere
Here’s the thing about Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It is a book that successfully approaches so many aspects of human nature.
It is the perfect blend of controversial and important topics that all come together in a slow burn (no pun intended) of gripping twists and turns.
One of these topics is infertility.
Fertility struggles might not be a prominent piece of the story’s overall plotline, it acts as a significant catalyst for why the characters do the things they do.
From surrogacy to failed fertility treatments, so many different reproductive challenges are delicately approached in a way that feels close to the experiences we share ourselves.
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife
While The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is grounded in magical realism, this doesn’t mean the story won’t resonate with individuals trying to figure out how to deal with miscarriage.
The main characters in this story deal heavily with the blowback from recurrent pregnancy loss.
It is a great example of the strain that can occur with miscarriage grief and the hope that pregnancy after miscarriage is still an option.
It is worth noting that some readers found the descriptions of the miscarriages hard to read, so be prepared if you give this book a shot.
3. The Light Between Oceans
The story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife living alone on a small island, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a widely acclaimed novel that’s recently been turned into a major motion picture.
In the novel, the couple is stricken by repeated miscarriages and stillbirth before a baby girl washes up on the island. They begin to raise her as their own.
This story taps into the emotional longing that comes with wanting a child. It explores the willingness of a couple to do just about anything to make that dream come true.
How Can You Tell if Fertility Books are Right for You?
For some people, reading IVF books or other books about infertility may be too much.
After all, struggling to conceive a child is an overwhelming experience that can emotionally creep into every corner of your life.
When you already feel so wrapped up in a situation, reading about it more could make things even harder.
Let’s take another situation, for example.
Given our current pandemic-filled lives, many people find themselves pouring through the news all day long.
While they might feel that this is a proactive decision that’s keeping them informed on the COVID-19 situation, it can actually cause more harm than good.
Studies have shown that watching the news constantly or enveloping yourself in content about certain subject matters can actually make your anxiety worse.
If you’re reading any of the fertility books mentioned in this article, or a different one, and you find it’s having a negative emotional effect, put it down.
Not finishing a book is better than feeling worse about your situation because of one.
Finding Infertility Support & Sanctuary Between the Pages of a Good Book
In my opinion, reading a good book feels about the same as a warm hug. It’s comforting, safe, and uplifting. Just because you’re reading fertility books doesn’t mean you can’t have this same type of experience.
If you’re looking to escape into a story that has close connections to your own circumstances, any of the options in this article could be good for you.
Don’t feel like reading IVF books, books about miscarriages, or other topics are for you? That’s okay, too. Do only what feels helpful to your unique situation.
From Little Fires Everywhere to It Starts with an Egg, these stories have created a sense of compassion for future parents living out the topics covered within their pages.
It might be worth hitting up the local library to at least check them out!
Have you read any of these books about infertility? If so, what did you think?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.