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19 Pictures That Show The Reality Of Dealing With Infertility

"Every single month you get your hopes up only to be completely crushed and then forced to keep going. It is a rollercoaster."

Infertility — the inability to get pregnant despite trying for at least a year — can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and expensive to deal with when you're trying to have children.

To help people understand what it's like to experience it, we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share pictures of what navigating infertility is really like.

Here are some pictures that they shared — but keep in mind that everyone's journey is personal and unique, so these are by no means universal experiences of infertility.

1.

Four years, three surgeries, four lost babies, three years of fertility drugs, five rounds of Iintrauterine insemination (IUI), and two rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and still nothing. —rebeccadunsonw
buzzfeed.com

Four years, three surgeries, four lost babies, three years of fertility drugs, five rounds of Iintrauterine insemination (IUI), and two rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and still nothing. —rebeccadunsonw

2.

IVF means your husband watches the doctor get you pregnant! —aprilh41cd5a127
buzzfeed.com

IVF means your husband watches the doctor get you pregnant! —aprilh41cd5a127

3.

The 20 pregnancy tests you take after five years of infertility and IVF. You just don't believe it's real when it happens. —angelahiten
buzzfeed.com

The 20 pregnancy tests you take after five years of infertility and IVF. You just don't believe it's real when it happens. —angelahiten

4.

After the follicle stimulation hormones (FSH), ovaries swell from the size of grapes to the size of grapefruits. This is a normal side effect but one can’t help but be heartbroken by looking so pregnant and still having such a long way to go. —sandyp4172f13d0
buzzfeed.com

After the follicle stimulation hormones (FSH), ovaries swell from the size of grapes to the size of grapefruits. This is a normal side effect but one can’t help but be heartbroken by looking so pregnant and still having such a long way to go. —sandyp4172f13d0

5.

Fluid pumped from my abdomen after I developed ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) from my egg retrieval. This was one of four fluid retrievals. —jennyc4f43fc4f5
buzzfeed.com

Fluid pumped from my abdomen after I developed ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) from my egg retrieval. This was one of four fluid retrievals. —jennyc4f43fc4f5

6.

• Over seven years• $18,000+• Four failed artificial insemination with donor sperm• A failed adoption• A combined total of eight medical procedures between my husband and meI finally got pregnant. Lost her at eight weeks pregnant. —rowdieangel
buzzfeed.com

• Over seven years

• $18,000+

• Four failed artificial insemination with donor sperm

• A failed adoption

• A combined total of eight medical procedures between my husband and me

I finally got pregnant. Lost her at eight weeks pregnant. —rowdieangel

7.

My infertility looks like this: two moms, five kids, four adoptions at the same time, two judges, one courtroom. One surgical endometriosis diagnosis, six cycles of drugs/donors/dreams, one emergency hysterectomy. We built our family through adoption, but it took me years to understand that raising my amazing kids didn’t treat my infertility. It is okay to mourn my fertility — acknowledging that loss sets a good example for my children. —megm44de4605c
buzzfeed.com

My infertility looks like this: two moms, five kids, four adoptions at the same time, two judges, one courtroom. One surgical endometriosis diagnosis, six cycles of drugs/donors/dreams, one emergency hysterectomy. We built our family through adoption, but it took me years to understand that raising my amazing kids didn’t treat my infertility. It is okay to mourn my fertility — acknowledging that loss sets a good example for my children. —megm44de4605c

8.

Ten years and multiple miscarriages, surgeries and heartache. Finally a friend offered to carry for us. First transfer ended in miscarriage of two embryos. One year later we transferred our one boy (we still have three girls) to our friend and we have a healthy four-month-old son!! —tarabethblankenshipt
buzzfeed.com

Ten years and multiple miscarriages, surgeries and heartache. Finally a friend offered to carry for us. First transfer ended in miscarriage of two embryos. One year later we transferred our one boy (we still have three girls) to our friend and we have a healthy four-month-old son!! —tarabethblankenshipt

9.

One “perk” of being infertile and spending thousands on IVF is that I got to see my babies a few days after conception. How many people can say that? Now my twin girls are about to be one and a half years old! There’s hope, don’t give it up. —banana1104
buzzfeed.com

One “perk” of being infertile and spending thousands on IVF is that I got to see my babies a few days after conception. How many people can say that? Now my twin girls are about to be one and a half years old! There’s hope, don’t give it up. —banana1104

10.

buzzfeed.com

Needles used for IVF to celebrate our rainbow baby. You can see the five day embryo and the 12-week ultrasound. —aprilh41cd5a127

11.

Infertility is popping fertility drugs at Fenway Park with 14,000 of your closest friends. We’ve dealt with infertility for nine years now. Six pregnancies, two living children, one infant loss, three miscarriages, and trying to conceive again. —catecurryp
buzzfeed.com

Infertility is popping fertility drugs at Fenway Park with 14,000 of your closest friends. We’ve dealt with infertility for nine years now. Six pregnancies, two living children, one infant loss, three miscarriages, and trying to conceive again. —catecurryp

12.

This is the flash from the exact moment our now 12 week old little girl was transferred and became one of the best things to ever happen to us. A day five frozen embryo transfer (FET), thankfully funded by our provincial government. —megang43eb7300a
buzzfeed.com

This is the flash from the exact moment our now 12 week old little girl was transferred and became one of the best things to ever happen to us. A day five frozen embryo transfer (FET), thankfully funded by our provincial government. —megang43eb7300a

13.

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when I was 18. I am 32 now. We have been trying to have a baby for four years. Three rounds of IUI so far. Countless invasive tests. TONS of medications and herbs and supplements. Soooooo much money spent. It is the loneliest process that you will experience. All while countless specialists and nurses and radiology techs look on. I think that women who are facing fertility issues are the strongest people in the world. Every single month you get your hopes up only to be completely crushed and then forced to keep going. It is a rollercoaster. —j4cac9cf5a
buzzfeed.com

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when I was 18. I am 32 now. We have been trying to have a baby for four years. Three rounds of IUI so far. Countless invasive tests. TONS of medications and herbs and supplements. Soooooo much money spent. It is the loneliest process that you will experience. All while countless specialists and nurses and radiology techs look on.

I think that women who are facing fertility issues are the strongest people in the world. Every single month you get your hopes up only to be completely crushed and then forced to keep going. It is a rollercoaster. —j4cac9cf5a

14.

Worth the wait! Four months. —l40eceab65
buzzfeed.com

Worth the wait! Four months. —l40eceab65

15.

Hoping this month is our month ❤️ —baileyd7
buzzfeed.com

Hoping this month is our month ❤️ —baileyd7

16.

Singing, “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots. EVERYBODY! SHOTS! SHOTS!” —katherinen4f7d7e368
buzzfeed.com

Singing, “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots. EVERYBODY! SHOTS! SHOTS!” —katherinen4f7d7e368

17.

Over 180 injections. I’d do it all over again for my precious baby girl. ❤️ —kateb47a2cf44a
buzzfeed.com

Over 180 injections. I’d do it all over again for my precious baby girl. ❤️ —kateb47a2cf44a

18.

Just a handful of the tests I’ve utilized in trying to get pregnant. These are ones I passed on to someone else who needed them, but I’ve probably got 100 more. —sarahmh
buzzfeed.com

Just a handful of the tests I’ve utilized in trying to get pregnant. These are ones I passed on to someone else who needed them, but I’ve probably got 100 more. —sarahmh

19.

This is my rainbow baby. Infertility for me was getting the innocence of pregnancy taken away. You think that when you see that positive pregnancy test you will have a healthy baby in your arms nine months later...but nope. Doesn’t always work that way. I had two back-to-back missed miscarriages (basically thought a baby was growing for ten weeks but when they checked only the sac grew, no baby). Then I went through two years of infertility and the month we were supposed to start IVF I got a surprise positive with my rainbow baby! After a very stressful pregnancy she is here. —traciev4ed2b402e
buzzfeed.com

This is my rainbow baby. Infertility for me was getting the innocence of pregnancy taken away. You think that when you see that positive pregnancy test you will have a healthy baby in your arms nine months later...but nope. Doesn’t always work that way. I had two back-to-back missed miscarriages (basically thought a baby was growing for ten weeks but when they checked only the sac grew, no baby). Then I went through two years of infertility and the month we were supposed to start IVF I got a surprise positive with my rainbow baby! After a very stressful pregnancy she is here. —traciev4ed2b402e

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