The Ricki Lake Show recently ran a segment on infertility. It seemed like opportunity for raising infertility awareness. Many women who have been through infertility were hoping that everyday women and couples suffering from this disease would help others understand their journeys.

Last week's episode of Ricki Lake dealt with a subject near and dear to many struggling women and their partners — infertility. While the show singled out some pretty sensational stories, most stories from those who suffer from the disease aren't so extreme and head-turning. Many women suffering from the disease of infertility took issue with the way the popular talk show presented it.

Sensationalism is not the way to go

Several mom bloggers reacted, saying Ricki Lake's producers missed a real opportunity to share infertility stories and raise awareness when they chose only the most over-the-top, extreme guests to appear on her show. Some women who struggle with infertility were hopeful and excited when they heard the show was going to cover this topic, but found their hopes dashed when the piece ran.

[The show] chose to sensationalize infertility by highlighting the outliers, the 1 percent of extreme cases...

"I do love that Ricki covered this topic (raising awareness is always a good thing) but I am saddened by the fact that she chose to sensationalize infertility by highlighting the outliers, the 1 percent of extreme cases, and making it seem like women who struggle with infertility are some sort of desperate rare breed," said Katie, founder of the popular infertility community website, Clomid and Cabernet.

Keiko, founder and blogger at The Infertility Voice, felt the same. "We're not all Octomom, designer-baby craving, rich, older, white women who waited too long to start our families," she said. "We're your neighbors, your sisters, your co-workers, your best friends... and we have a disease."

What should have been done

When 1 in 8 women are struggling with infertility, you can bet that you know someone suffering in silence, right this very minute.

Ricki Lake's new show has taken social media by storm and is popular among bloggers and social media lovers. Part of Ricki's lasting appeal is her straightforward, authentic and approachable persona.

The good news is that her production team, Team Ricki, was receptive to opinions and criticism after the show. So what did some women who have dealt with infertility on the show want to see?

"The world needs to know that infertility is devastating," shared Katie. "It tests relationships beyond comprehension and changes people. It affects families and friends along the way. It affects everyone. When 1 in 8 women are struggling with infertility, you can bet that you know someone suffering in silence, right this very minute. That's what Ricki should have said. That would have normalized this hideous disease."

Jessica from Faces of ALI (Adoption/Loss/Infertility) agreed. "Infertility is a topic many find taboo, but ultimately I think the only way to help the public understand what it's like to suffer from the disease is to tell our stories," she explained. "That's why I started the Faces of ALI project. These stories may be the same ones your brother or your neighbor or your friend would tell you if they could. The people I profile are ordinary, but they have extraordinary tales of hope, loss, triumph and suspense."

Infertility goes much deeper and much closer to home than The Ricki Lake Show let on, but perhaps it shined the light on the plight of 7.3 million couples who are suffering from infertility right now. "I am really glad that The Ricki Lake Show gave me a platform to showcase these stories, and I hope it leads to a forward momentum of awareness and education," Jessica told us.

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