By Fertility Advocate Jennifer Jay Palumbo.
There are various online resources you can find to help support your efforts trying to conceive (TTC), including many who, like yourself, share their fertility journey in a TTC blog.
This can be helpful as you can connect with others who may have been diagnosed with a similar condition as yours, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis, and they may share what solutions or IVF protocol worked best for them.
Some use their TTC blog more as a diary and less as a clinical outlet where they express their feelings about not being able to get pregnant. This also can provide support as you perhaps will be able to empathize or see your feelings reflected. While there are positives to starting your own TTC blog, it’s also important to evaluate how much personal information you may want to share and be careful not to give medical advice.
How Public Do You Want Your TTC Blog to Be?
When it comes to infertility, some people can be very private about their journey. Whether you’ve just started to try to get pregnant, you’re undergoing fertility treatment, or it’s your second or third IVF cycle, if you create a TTC blog, you should decide first if you want it to be something you share with close friends and family or if you’re open to being public about it. Depending on which site you use to create your TTC blog (Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Wix, etc.), there are settings to make the blog private or even password protected in some cases. You also have the option to use a pseudonym to protect your identity.
How a TTC Blog Can Be a Helpful
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, diagnosed with an infertility issue, or are going through IVF, having a TTC blog can be a coping mechanism. It can provide an outlet where you can express your feelings, document your journey, share your thoughts and if you do make it public, connect with others who have their own TTC blog who may be going through something similar.
If friends and family are aware of your TTC blog, it may even be a way to keep friends and family updated, which can help reduce the stress of having to inform everyone individually. For example, if you have a failed cycle or a setback, they can read about it on your blog, and it eliminates the need of you having to call them to update them about the latest.
You may even get helpful feedback or insight from other members of the fertility community who have gone through similar experiences as you and can share what worked for them. Example: If you were to share on your TTC blog that your recent IVF cycle was unsuccessful, your doctor was concerned that it had to do with your uterine lining. A follower/reader may comment that they had a similar experience.
You will also have people provide love, support, and coping skills. When you share your TTC blog and your fertility journey, you invariably connect with others; you are going through the same experience and become a community that ideally helps one another.
What to Be Careful of in Your TTC Blog
While sharing support, advice, and even what worked for you on your last cycle is acceptable, giving medical advice, especially when you’re not a doctor or have no medical background is not advisable. To be responsible on your TTC blog, should you mention any protocol or test, even if you have firsthand experience with it, you may want to add that if anyone wants to learn more, they speak directly to their doctor about it, or you can even provide additional resources for them to do their research. For example, if you had just completed an IVF cycle with Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A), also known as PGS, which decreases your chances of a miscarriage by identifying chromosomally normal embryos for transfer, you could share your experience with PGT-A. But you should also recommend if someone would like to learn more, they speak to their reproductive endocrinologist and then provide a link to Resolve: the National Infertility Association information on genetic testing for them to read up on.
It’s impossible to overstate how much starting my own TTC blog helped me. It gave me an outlet, it helped connect me to countless others, and when I needed it, the comments cheering me on lifted me.
Writing your own TTC blog and connecting with others in the blogging community can have benefits, but you need to make certain you approach it responsibly and in a way you feel comfortable with. Having a safe space to write your feelings, share what worked, didn’t work, express the highs and lows, receive and lend support can all be tools in getting through the journey of trying to conceive. Once you see all of the other TTC blogs that exist, it’s also an incredible reminder of just how much you are NOT alone.
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