8 Things Never to Say to Those Experiencing Infertility
When talking about infertility it’s important to tread lightly around those dealing with the issue first hand. You wouldn’t tell a friend or family member fighting cancer to just relax and their cancer will go away, right? Of course you wouldn’t! Infertility is a disease too and 15% of couples trying to conceive are experiencing infertility. Talking about infertility is not only risky to do, but it brings up the possibility of inadvertently offending or upsetting couples trying to conceive.
Here are 8 things to try to avoid when talking to those experiencing infertility.
1. If you just relax-it’ll happen.
Oftentimes couples who are experiencing infertility are told to just relax and stop trying to conceive. They’re told that because people assume that because they’re trying so hard, it’s actually prohibiting them from conceiving because of the extra stress. If they simply stop trying, it’ll happen. Most causes of infertility are issues that can be corrected with the help of fertility specialists, but waiting to get issues resolved won’t help conceiving happen. Time can be of the essence in this situation.
2. Maybe you’re just not destined to be a parent.
That statement is a punch in the gut to anyone yearning for their chance at parenthood. It’s not anyone’s say to try and pretend that they know what is planned for others. Oftentimes, with the help of doctors, a couple experiencing infertility can have the issues resolved. For anyone to imply that someone knows their plan is both intrusive and painful.
3. Maybe if you adopt, it’ll happen.
Adoption does not lead to conception. Adoption does not correct the infertility issues a couple is faced with. There is absolutely no relationship between adoption and conception. This argument is invalid.
4. Your doctor must not know what they’re doing.
To question a couple’s doctor you don’t know is arrogant and also invasive. For one to act like they are more knowledgeable into the couple’s struggle is insensitive.
5. Maybe you’re just not taking care of yourself.
Although leading a negative lifestyle has been proven to cause some infertility issues in both men and women, it’s also important to remember that there are some individuals who are currently engaging in negative lifestyle behaviors and they have zero issues conceiving. Therefore, we cannot assume that one’s lifestyle behavior is the sole cause for their infertility woes.
6. You’re working too hard
Some people believe that working too hard can lead to extra stress that can lead to infertility. Just because someone works hard does not mean that they won’t get pregnant when they want to get pregnant. Stress due to work-home life can lead to some issues, but again this is not typically the sole reason for infertility issues. For example, many women will begin to track their cycles, oftentimes using an app on their smartphone, in an attempt to precisely identify when they’re going to be ovulating. They will then plan their intimacy around the suggested ovulation dates. Women will then take the charts to their doctors to provide reinforcement in their attempts of getting pregnant. Doctors typically tell women and couples who do this to stop charting and relax.
7. If you want kids so bad, take mine.
One may think this is a harmless and funny joke, but it won’t be that to those individuals trying to conceive. Seeking solace in building close relationships with nieces, nephews and in some cases friend’s children is possible, but one cannot push this onto them.
8. Maybe you waited too long.
Although age can surely be associated with decreased fertility in both men and women, it can sometimes be overemphasized. There are plenty of people in their 40’s that have no issues conceiving whereas there are those in their 20’s and 30’s that struggle.
It’s important to be supportive to those couples experiencing infertility. Offer words of encouragement but tread lightly when discussing infertility. You may not mean to intentionally upset anyone, but they’re in a delicate and emotional state of mine and there’s no telling how much it has truly affected them.
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