Roughly one out of every six Canadians will struggle with infertility at some point, but as Canada marks Infertility Awareness Week, a group of advocates is hoping to break the taboo on the topic.

Carol Chevereau-Bennett had struggled to conceive for several years. She said that by telling her story, she hopes to empower others to speak out on a sensitive topic.

“It feels like it’s a very intimate subject and people are always afraid to talk about it,” she said. “It feels very personal. It’s important to get the conversation going and see you’re not alone in this journey.”

This year, the event, normally held in May, is taking place from April 23 to 29. In a statement, Fertility Matters Canada Executive Director Carolynn Dube said the change is due to the stress faced by many women struggling with infertility around the time of Mother’s Day.  

In 2015, the Quebec government cut funding for in vitro fertilization treatments, though some people may still be eligible for a tax credit. The move was criticized by fertility experts and sufferers, who said the procedures can be expensive, especially when repeated efforts are needed.

Chevereau-Bennett called on the federal government to create a program to help all couples struggling with issues conceiving.

“It’s just very strange. It’s a disease when it gets to the point of infertility. To not be able to get help for a medical issue is not fair,” she said. “On top of being able to talk about it, and raise awareness, there should be some change in the laws for every woman that it should be a right for a woman to have access to fertility treatments.”

Throughout the week, Fertility Matters will be sharing stories from those who have have problems conceiving, as well as expert advice on their website