If you know someone struggling with infertility, or suspect someone might be struggling with infertility, here is a list of questions to avoid asking and a list of things to avoid saying. Infertility can be heart-breaking and avoiding these questions may help someone more than you know!
1. When are you going to have kids/have another child?
One of the best questions to avoid asking any couple is when they plan to have kids and/or more kids. They may be struggling to conceive and dealing with the long, difficulty road of infertility. Instead wait for them to approach the subject and offer support if they confide in you they are struggling to have a baby.
2. Just relax and it will happen!
There can be so many reasons a couple is struggling to conceive and telling someone to relax will seem ridiculous to them! Relaxation itself does not solve all infertility problems and telling someone to relax may create more stress and angst.
3. At least you have one.
Many couples face second infertility after successfully, and often times easily, conceiving their first child. Minimizing the struggle to conceive again does not help someone facing the difficult road of infertility and infertility treatments.
4. You’re so lucky to get to travel/sleep in/do whatever you want.
Those struggling with infertility would trade it all in a heartbeat to be able to hold their child!
5. Why don’t you try X, Y, or Z treatments?
Don’t offer suggestions regarding treatment and/or adoption unless your input is asked for. Many treatments options may have already been explored and suggesting those as options may cause more depression and anxiety if they were unsuccessful.
INSTEAD try the following approaches. It may make a world of difference and encourage the person struggling to open up to you and share their difficult journey.
1. I’m here if you need me or want to talk.
Simply being present and offering yourself as a willing ear will help those stressed and under pressure feel they have a soft place to land.
2. Offer advice only if asked.
Offer advice or what you think might be best if you are asked.
3. Send them a card or small care package.
Send a care or a small care package just to let the person know they are in your thoughts.
4. Support their decision to stop.
Deciding to end treatments is a painful, and a long, process. Support the couple’s decision to end their journey and do not encourage them to keep trying.