What Is Infertility
Infertility is a topic rarely discussed. Most couples struggling to conceive generally know almost nothing about fertility and treatments until being thrust unprepared into the world of reproductive endocrinology. Once one is handed the ticket into this world of endless doctor’s visits, self-injections, and failed cycles, the cyclical sadness, disappointment and shame can drive individuals into secrecy.
Struggling to have a child, be it one’s first or any subsequent child, can create a constant feeling of loss and helplessness. As a Jew there is an added stress of infertility. Many of the Jewish holidays and rituals revolve around children. For those struggling to have a child, these holidays and rituals can be very difficult. For some these holidays can even be a source of tremendous pain, as a reminder of what they don’t have, yet so desperately want.
Taking the first step on this journey can be very frightening, nerve racking and anxiety provoking. By starting down this road, one is admitting that there may be something wrong. Deciding to seek medical or other interventions is a very brave step into a previously unknown world of seemingly endless medical treatments.
The 1 in 8
According to the National Survey of Family Growth , 1 in 8 couples in America is diagnosed with infertility each year.
It is important to keep in mind that even the most aggressive treatment, in vitro fertilization (IVF), only leads to live birth 47.6 %% of the time in women under 35 and 34.0 % in women aged 35-37 (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 2018). That means that each time a couple spends $15,000-$35,000 (most of which is generally not covered by health insurance) on an IVF treatment, it is statistically more likely for them not to have a child. This reality suggests that couples will be required to undergo multiple treatments prior to having a child and for some couples these treatments may never result in a live birth. The process of undergoing treatment is exceptionally time consuming, financially tasking and emotionally draining.
For most Jewish couples who want children, building a family is a given. But for the 1 in 8, the road to parenthood is paved with tears, anguish, loss, isolation and depression.
How we Support the 1 in 8
Yesh Tikva is dedicated to supporting people dealing with infertility while simultaneously raising awareness and sensitivity within the broader Jewish community. You can learn more about our activities by reading
You can learn more about the topic of infertility by clicking on any of the sites below: