Infertility is no laughing matter, right? So many women suffer from all the frustrations and heartbreak that come from having trouble with conception. Luckily, a mom's hilarious memes about infertility after dealing with her own struggles have helped over 10,500 others handle their IVF journeys, too. By lightening the mood, she's helped make it less of a taboo topic to talk about; rather than focusing on the negative, she's found the humor in the situation.
35-year-old "Karen" (a fake name that she provided to People in order to protect her personal identity as a teacher) has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Though she's a mother now herself, Karen and her husband went through months of IVF treatments — a process that quickly took a toll on her mental health. “I kept thinking maybe I won’t get pregnant, maybe I have to change everything I thought my life would be," she remembers.
But Karen's husband kept her afloat, joking and teasing through every turn. "We made fun of IVF, because you have to joke about it or else you cry," Karen shares. Fortunately for them, a combination of "clomid fertility medication treatment and ... insemination," allowed Karen was able give birth to their first daughter on November 8, 2012. Three years later, another daughter was conceived thanks to IVF.
Karen started the Hilariously Infertile Instagram account in April of 2016 as a way to help others deal with their treatments. "I’m trying to give women hope and to get them to see the ridiculousness of infertility and infertility treatments," she told People. “It can be funny, for instance, when you’re in the clinic and no one talks to each other and, like, aren’t we all infertile? Can’t we all talk to each other?"
Even if doctors' waiting rooms don't incite conversation, her online memes do. Though she didn't have the account while she was going through IVF herself, she's certain that Instagram is "a great platform for women to connect over an awkward issue." "My end goal," she's explained, "is to help other women laugh their way through their treatment, while their feet are in the stirrups and their vaginas are enjoying the fresh fertility clinic air."
Share Karen's account with anyone you know who's having a hard time handling all of the body, relationship, and financial discomfort caused by IVF. Taking a moment out of the stirrups to laugh and eye-roll is time well spent!