(In)fertility Myth: It's easy to get pregnant.
While this may have been true for you, it is not true for all. The truth is, 1 in 8 US couples (over 7 million) are dealing with infertility. That means that someone you know has probably gone through it, or is silently going through it. I'm sure you might want to chalk it up to all the hormones in our foods or all those modern day pills and shots we have to take, or some other reason for the high numbers...but it's not that simple. Like I said, today's odds are that 1 in 8 couples will have some sort of infertility struggle. 30% of cases are female factors, 30% of cases are male factors, and 20% of infertility cases are unexplained. 10% of cases are due to a combination of these factors (source). As a matter of fact, it can take a healthy, fertile couple up to a year to conceive before many doctors will consider them for infertility screenings. Even if there's nothing wrong, it's not always easy to get pregnant.
So, if you'll keep reading, I want to take a Biblical spin around the ole fertility block if you'll let me, to try and disprove the myth. Below, I have listed 20 well-known women in the Bible. I know there are more women in the Bible mentioned, obviously, but I have picked out the more recognizable for the sake of this post.
*Sarah (Genesis 16-21)
*Rebekah (Genesis 25:20-26)
*Rachel (Genesis 30:1-24)
**Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4)
*Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
Mary, mother of Jesus
Martha and Mary (sisters)
**Elisabeth (Luke 1)
Now you'll notice the starring system I have added. I gave one star to those women who dealt with infertility (probably female-factor or unexplained). Two stars are for those I would guess struggled with male-factor infertility. I will detail those right now to eliminate confusion. I double starred the Shunammite woman because she specifically says she can't have children because her husband is old. I double starred Elisabeth as she and her husband were both very old, and in this case it may have been a combination of male and female factors.
So, I listed 20 women. SIX of them are starred. That's a 30% infertility rate.... in BIBLE times. Ok, so that's not exactly a high pool number of participants, but we gotta work with what we got. There are more cases of women and infertility that are lesser known (ex: Samson's mother (Judges 13) and Michal (2 Sam. 6:15-23)) just as there are more cases of lesser known women who did have children. And we don't even know if Miriam, Deborah, Mary Magdalene, or Martha and Mary ever went on to have children.
The Bible is one of our most ancient books, and God felt that these infertility stories were important enough to be written about. Not just a story here and there, but actually littered throughout the whole book! If you take the time to read the stories, you'll find that through much prayer almost all of these women did go on to have children. Sometimes they didn't always wait on HIS timing, but He kept His promises to all of them. Some of these women became well known because of how they acted in the face of their adversity (infertility). Women have been going back to these stories for encouragement for thousands of years. Why?
Because never, in the whole history of the world, has it EVER been proven that it's "easy" to get pregnant.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. If YOU have 8 friends, chances are, one of them is going through, or has been through infertility of some sort. What can you do for them this week? Hug them, learn your manners, get educated, and join the Bust a Myth challenge.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.