Mom creates hilarious memes about infertility inspired by her own journey

Karen poses for a picture while waiting inside her gynecologist's office in New York City.


When it comes to her fertility, one New York City woman is finding humor in a not-so-funny situation. And she's encouraging other women to do the same.

Karen, who preferred to be identified by first name only, was told she had polycystic ovary syndrome -- a hormonal disorder that can affect a woman's ovulation -- at the age of 29. She was diagnosed in December 2011, and since it was around the holidays she had to wait to hear next steps from her gynecologist.

"I was completely shocked," Karen told CBS News. "I was a wreck. I Googled and all I saw was 'infertile' and 'not able to have children.' It was scary."

Two weeks later, she and her husband visited a fertility clinic. While sitting in the waiting room, the pair couldn't help but crack a few jokes.


"I'm infertile, but I'm also still just me," Karen says of her infertility.


"I think it's important to stay who you are and not let it consume you," Karen said. "I'm infertile, but I'm also still just me."

The fertility clinic gave Karen hope by explaining she had several options.

In 2012, she started doing rounds of Clomid, an oral fertility drug. But she was discouraged when her first intrauterine insemination (IUI) failed.

"It's really, really hard for women when you want to be a mom, always known you've wanted to have kids, and find this information out," she said.

Fortunately, months later, Karen was told she had a positive IUI.

"That ended up being my first daughter," she said.

Three years later, she tried again.

She made five attempts with IUI to get pregnant, but nothing worked. Then she tried in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which turned out to be a success, giving her another little girl.

Throughout the entire emotional process, Karen chronicled her journey on a blog, which she described as "snarky, funny, inappropriate and totally real." In fact, it was so relatable, friends encouraged her to post even more.

In April 2016, Karen created an Instagram page called Hilariously Infertile, using humorous memes, videos and personal photos to show women in similar situations they're not alone. The popular Instagram account has now grown to nearly 12,000 followers.

"Some women are tired of crying and being sad," Karen said. "But we can look at it like this: It's easier to be snarky and a little funny than to be sad about it."

Many couples face fertility problems but never talk about it, Karen says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 12 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have some type of fertility problem, and 7.3 million used infertility services at some point in their lives.

"The fact is no one is talking about it. Women are suffering alone, and I just find that so upsetting," Karen said.

I wondered what happened!!

A post shared by Hilariously Infertile (@hilariously_infertile) on

With memes and video confessionals, Karen said she's able to reach women across the world in a relatable way.

"I'm just happy that women are being connected to each other. They're finding levity," she said. "I think that it's so important to laugh a little."