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Infertility often feels lonely and isolating. Even though 1 in 8 couples experiences infertility, many don’t talk about it, so it can seem hard to find the support you need.
Thankfully, there are several face-to-face and online infertility support groups available that can make a difficult fertility journey a little bit easier.
Here are our favorite infertility support groups, tips on how to know what’s right for you, and advice for ways to find the support you need and deserve.
Should I Join an Infertility Support Group?
Choosing to join a support group is a personal decision, but if I’m being honest, it’s one I wish I had made.
I don’t have many regrets about how we handled infertility and IVF. But if I had to name one thing I’d do differently, it would be the fact that I didn’t seek out more infertility support during our treatment cycles.
We made the decision not to discuss our experiences with most of our family and friends because most people don’t know what to say to someone struggling with infertility.
Finding other support networks would’ve given me a very needed outlet. Not to mention they’re a great source of information.
Why Are Infertility Support Groups Helpful?
While we can’t promise that joining a support group will benefit you, we can tell you that taking the time to find the right fit can be invaluable in connecting you with a great resource. Infertility support groups are full of women who really “get it” sharing their stories about fertility treatments.
Hearing other people’s stories is often healing in and of itself, as we come to realize that we truly are not alone.
Infertility support groups are also amazing resources. They provide a space where you can:
- Ask questions about what to expect during infertility testing and treatment
- Learn how to advocate for yourself as a patient
- Get experience-based tips for whatever you need–managing grief, medication side effects, getting through procedures, and much more
In infertility support groups, you can learn about things friends and family members can’t necessarily help with, such as:
- What should you expect when visiting a fertility specialist?
- What aspects of infertility do people wish others had told them about?
You can also find support networks specific to your problems, like:
- IVF support forums
- Groups for couples struggling with male-factor infertility
- People using donor eggs
- Women struggling with primary ovarian insufficiency
- Others considering embryo adoption
- Dealing with a balanced translocation
- Women struggling with PCOS and infertility
- People experiencing secondary infertility
- And more
How Do I Know if an Infertility Support Group is Right for Me?
While there’s no definitive answer to this question (though we certainly wish there were), there are helpful questions you can ask yourself.
Your answers to these questions can help you decide whether you could benefit from locally-run or online fertility support groups:
- Do you feel alone in your infertility journey?
- Do you have anyone other than your partner who can provide you with emotional support?
- Are your struggles with infertility affecting your job?
- Do you feel surrounded by people who are currently pregnant or who have children?
- Are you having a difficult time deciding whether to stop infertility treatments?
- Are get-togethers with family and friends becoming difficult to bear?
If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, there’s a good chance you might benefit from joining an infertility support group or forum.
How Do You Find an Infertility Support Group?
Depending on the type of support for infertility you’re looking for, there are a few different platforms for you to consider when you’re dealing with infertility, or looking for information about different kinds of treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or IUI.
Local In-person Support Groups
If you prefer the idea of in-person meetings, doing a simple Google search should yield great results on infertility support groups in your community. Another great option is to search on Resolve’s website.
While certified counselors may lead some of these meetings, many are peer-led groups.
Infertility Facebook Groups
For many of us, a decent portion of our lives exists on social media.
Whether you’re shopping, crafting, or catching up with friends, Facebook has become a go-to in terms of joining groups within the social media world. It’s no surprise that there are several infertility Facebook groups available to help people looking for support.
If you’re trying to find a group, you can always start with a simple search.
To start, ask your fertility clinic to see if they have any sort of Facebook group you can join. For example, my own clinic has started a beautiful Facebook community called the “Miracle Mom Squad.”
It’s an excellent way for us to stay abreast of the latest news at the clinic and to speak with fellow patients who have graduated from treatment or are still in the middle of their infertility journeys.
The group even offers a mentor program for incoming patients who are trying to get started on their treatment process.
Also search for terms like your specific concerns, like “unexplained infertility,” and see what comes up.
Online Fertility Support Groups
The good news is that there are many different kinds of support groups for people navigating infertility issues.
If you’d rather join one of the online fertility support groups or an infertility support forum that exists outside of Facebook, a great place to start is with Resolve, the national infertility nonprofit.
Resolve provides amazing resources to the infertility community. They help you locate peer-led support groups, professional-led support groups, and online support groups, and they also have resources to help you find a therapist.
Many people also find tremendous infertility support on Instagram using hashtags like #infertilitysupport, #infertilitycommunity, and #ivfgotthis.
Beyond resolve, there are also some peer-to-peer online infertility support groups that we personally love. Here are the ones we recommend checking out!
(1) Fertility Rally
Fertility Rally is an amazing group of women that offers weekly Zoom meetups with featured speakers and share time. They also have 2 meetings per month that focus specifically on pregnancy after infertility.
They open membership the first week of every month, so if you think this group might be a fit, mark your calendar.
Not sure if it’s the best fit for you? Follow them on Instagram to get a feel for their vibe, or join one of their live events to get to know the community better.
Fertility Unfiltered provides invaluable resources for women looking for guided support.
They have different series depending on where you are in your journey, so while you won’t necessarily connect with other people struggling with a balanced translocation, you will find yourself surrounded by people in the same stage of their fertility journeys.
What’s especially great about Fertility Unfiltered is the number of resources they provide for people at later stages of the fertility journey, including series for people struggling with secondary infertility and for those walking through motherhood after infertility.
How Do You Choose an Infertility Support Group?
To determine the best fit for fertility support, determine what your needs are.
- Do you want a group that covers an extremely specific topic? A Facebook support group might be your answer!
- Want an online community where you can make friends and share your journey? Definitely consider Fertility Rally.
- Want a group led by a professional? Reach out to your local hospital or doctor’s office.
- Looking for an online peer-to-peer group where you know the leaders have been specially trained? Check out the support groups offered by Resolve!
And if you join a group that isn’t a fit at first, don’t forget that there are plenty of choices. Just like finding a doctor or therapist, this is about what fits your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
What are the Most Common Reasons People Join Infertility Support Groups?
As with pregnancy, in general, no two infertility experiences are exactly alike.
People find themselves looking into local groups and infertility support forums for a variety of different reasons. The groups themselves vary greatly, as well.
Depending on your individual needs, it’s important to find a group that feels right to you. When you’re trying to pick, a good place to start is by examining the reasons you’re looking for additional infertility support in the first place.
Some of the most common reasons people join infertility support groups include:
- Support navigating the treatment process
- Pregnancy loss
- Making decisions about your infertility journey
- Ending infertility treatment
(1) Support Navigating the Treatment Process
There are so many different possibilities for fertility treatment, and all depend on unique scenarios.
Rather than randomly Googling and wondering what resources to trust, support groups provide a way to get information about navigating the treatment process from people who have been or are going through it.
(2) Pregnancy Loss
Perhaps you’ve suffered your 4th miscarriage in a row, or you’ve finally received a positive test and it turned out to be a chemical pregnancy.
Losses like these can be devastating.
If you’re struggling emotionally after a significant pregnancy loss or stillbirth, surrounding yourself with people who share your experiences can be helpful.
Your family and friends might not understand what you’re going through or know how to support you. The members of a miscarriage support group, however, will recognize what you’re feeling and how you might best move forward.
If you’re looking for miscarriage support, check out these resources:
- Mourning Retreat: A Journal for the Sisterhood of Pregnancy Loss – this is our own guided journal, created by Undefining Motherhood’s founder, Katy, based on her personal experience going through therapy during recurrent miscarriage.
- Daughters of Hannah – a religiously-based support group for women of color that is primarily on Facebook, but also has a strong presence on Instagram and Clubhouse.
- Sisters in Loss – an incredible community that amplifies the voices of black and brown women who have experienced pregnancy loss. In addition to a podcast and impressive Instagram page, Sisters in Loss offers support resources, such as doula services.
- The Miscarriage Doula – The Miscarriage Doula offers one-on-one support and support in group settings, both for pregnancy loss and pregnancy after loss. It’s a great way to connect with other people who “get it.”
(3) Making Big Decisions about Your Infertility
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a universal solution to infertility? I, for one, would love a magic button we could press to fix our conception problems!
Unfortunately, though, treating infertility is not one-size-fits-all.
If standard treatment options like IUI or IVF fail to work for your family, there are other alternatives you might consider.
Choosing one of these options, however, might be easier said than done.
If you’re trying to choose between treatments like sperm donation, using donor eggs, or adoption, for instance, discussing the options with someone who’s been in your shoes can help you make an educated decision you feel confident in.
(4) Ending Infertility Treatment
I vividly remember waiting for an appointment one day and speaking with a woman who was preparing for her 11th IVF cycle.
She admitted that they’d taken out a second mortgage on their home just to afford treatments, but she had never even had a positive pregnancy test.
That 11th cycle was their final attempt at getting pregnant.
I climbed into the car that day and asked my husband what our “line” was. How much of ourselves, mentally, physically, and financially, were we willing and able to give to get pregnant?
Thankfully for me, I received the positive pregnancy tests I’d been hoping for more quickly than I anticipated.
Not everyone, of course, is so lucky.
Trying to decide whether you’re ready and willing to stop treatments is a complicated choice. Many people dream of the day they will become parents, and letting go of that dream is heart-wrenching.
Infertility support groups can be the safe space you need to weigh your options and find kindness and encouragement no matter which choice you eventually make.
Have you considered joining an infertility support group?
Other Infertility Articles
- Fertility and infertility definition + what it’s like
- Carly’s cancelled IVF cycle
- How to comfort a friend who can’t get pregnant
- What to say to someone struggling with infertility
- IVF pineapple
- Infertility Awareness Month
- Stress and infertility
- IVF gifts
- Infertility gifts
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.