"We need to break the IVF stigma. We are real, tough, strong women."

Sydney mum Carly Dalby wants to share her secret. Her baby is an IVF baby.

Dalby says she felt a stigma about having to go through IVF to get pregnant. Now she wants to break the stigma, and remove some of the “shame and sadness” some women feel about IVF.

“I felt like a failure having to go through this process at 31,” she tells The Motherish. “I didn’t share my experience and struggles for a long time and to only a handful of people. I knew how many people were going through this, because I saw how busy each day the clinics were, but I wondered, why is this topic taboo?”

"I felt like a failure having to go through this process at 31." Image supplied.

Dalby says it hasn't been an easy journey for her and her husband Scott. They had month after month filled with disappointment, as they tried for two years to fall pregnant.

"Countless doctors' appointments, tests, medications, herbal remedies and their side effects, ultrasounds, acupuncture, egg retrievals, 7am daily blood tests, injections, failed attempts, the waiting, and then on top of all that, the emotional rollercoaster that comes with all of this," she remembers.

"The tears that you shed just wondering if this will ever happen. The waiting rooms full at 7am with women's faces avoiding eye contact because they are embarrassed and somehow feel less like a woman because we need assistance to fall pregnant," she continued.

Carly Dalby's beautiful baby boy, Lincoln. Photo supplied.

Dalby added, "The lying you do to avoid telling people what is really going on. Why I am late to work, or that we wanted to be married for a while. Because it is just easier avoiding the issue because you are too sad to talk about it, and emotionally exhausted."

A year to the day after one of her embryos successfully transferred, Dalby shared her story with a Facebook mums' group, along with a photo of her baby son. She said she wanted the women in waiting rooms to make eye contact with each other and smile, and she wanted less shame and sadness around IVF.

"Because we are real women," she wrote. "We are real, tough, strong women, who are filled with so much love and determination that we would go through anything to get us the baby we want."


WATCH a video explaining what IVF involves. Post continues after the video...

Video via The Visual MD

Dalby's post got a huge response, with other mums sharing their stories of going through IVF. But not all felt it carried a stigma.

"Some said they never had it and were sorry I had experienced this. Others agreed there is a stigma attached," she explained.

Dalby says she had hesitations about revealing that she went through IVF.

"Will people think less of me, will they feel sorry for me? They're things I don't want at all. But I knew I needed to do this, not only for me, but for other women who maybe felt the same way," she reveals.

"I want there to be an open and honest discussion about IVF, that we as women are not failures, that it is common, that it is hard work. Opening up a dialogue between women could help others going through this in the future," Dalby concluded.

Do you feel there is a stigma around IVF?