Infertility Fact: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12%, or as many as 5 million, US women of reproductive age. (CDC)

Infertility Awareness: Because of its prevalence, there is a very good chance you know someone with PCOS, an endocrine disorder where, among other health issues, the woman’s eggs fail to mature and release from the ovary, thereby making fertilization difficult or impossible. Women often go undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed until they experience difficulty getting pregnant. Women with PCOS often feel that their bodies are broken, unfeminine, or that they did something wrong to cause the disease, which can affect their mental health and the health of their relationship with their husband.

Action: PCOS is a condition affecting many aspects of a woman’s health, even though she may appear perfectly healthy. The same holds true for many cases of infertility, regardless of the cause. It is easy to assume that there is nothing wrong, even though a couple may be struggling physically and emotionally. Therefore, it is important to be delicate with words when interacting with any couple who seem like they “should” be growing their families. Do ask a couple how they are enjoying their marriage. Don’t ask if they are working on having a baby. Do keep them in your prayers for a strong, spiritually fruitful marriage, children or not. Don’t assume a large family is the pinnacle of a successful marriage. And most of all, love the couple for who they are. Be supportive, even if that support means remaining silent.