“One of the biggest hurdles surrounding infertility and miscarriages is that individuals or couples can feel very isolated during their journey,” explains Temeka Zore, MD, FACOG, fertility specialist at Spring Fertility. “Support groups can take the isolation away that surrounds infertility and give individuals and couples a community to find shared experiences and successes.”
According to the CDC, 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility and 1 in 4 women are impacted by miscarriages. For those trying to conceive, the journey to starting a family with children can be unique, but it does not have to be solitary.
Access to digital communities, Instagram pages or online forums are just a few avenues that make finding support easier, especially during pandemic times.
For those looking for nuanced support: Modern Fertility
While Modern Fertility is known for their at-home fertility tests, their Modern Community is open to anyone, whether you’ve purchased a test or not. The Community exists behind a log-in page, which ensures privacy, and is broken into different groups that cater to those trying to conceive, those struggling with fertility challenges, those navigating loss, or those just thinking about their fertility in general.
When joining any online support group, Dr. Zore encourages you to keep in mind:
“The number one thing is that you feel supported, that there is no judgment and that you feel you are in a safe space to share your journey or learn what others have been through.”
For those grieving a miscarriage and not ready to participate: I Had A Miscarriage
Grief brings many ebbs and flows into someone’s daily life. While miscarriages are highly common, that doesn’t make them easy to navigate.
@IHadAMiscarriage, psychologist Dr. Jessica Zucker started her Instagram account based on her own grief and has since cultivated a safe space for anyone else living through similar experiences. Dr. Zucker’s Instagram account is a great alternative for anyone who is wanting to feel seen in their grief, but maybe is not ready to join a more intimate, active online community.
For those looking to compare notes: Fertility Out Loud
One of the biggest benefits of a healthy, positive online community is that it offers a peek into others’ experiences. While everyone is walking their own TTC paths, it can feel comforting to know that you’re not the only one going through all the ups and downs.
As you’re searching for a group or community that fits your needs, Dr. Zore recommends zeroing in on prioritizing spaces that respect and support your mental health.
“Groups where there is a lot of negativity or where you feel like you are being judged should be avoided,” explains Dr. Zore. “Additionally, if you notice that someone without a medical degree starts giving medical advice or is trying to sell a product claiming improved pregnancy rates, [that] would be a red flag.”
Fertility Out Loud’s digital community makes it easier to compare notes during your TTC journey. Scroll through and save the posts that are most relevant to your own experience—with no pressure to contribute unless you’re up for it.
A note from Motherly
No matter what digital community or platform you choose, their existence serves as a reminder that there are many people who have decided to turn to community during their own TTC journey. You get to decide when, how and to what degree you share your own.
“If you are not ready to share your journey, that’s OK,” notes Dr. Zore. “You should never feel pressured to share your story if you’re not ready. Be open to the experience of others sharing their journey and you may find that these individuals and their stories are more relatable to you than you think.”
Temeka Zore, MD, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN and fertility specialist at Spring Fertility.