Things to Say When Someone Is Going Through Infertility; YAY OR NAY?
When someone close has been trying for a baby for a while and an insensitive friend says “Sorry but, who is the problem?”, the conversation will definitely turn awkward, or weird although the apology comes before the painful question.
“You can always try IVF” - NAY
In-vitro fertilization has always been known for being horrendously expensive and taxing to any individual and there is always a chance for it to be unsuccessful despite having gone through countless cycles.
Instead, say: “I may not understand the medical stuff, but i’m here for you if you need a listening ear” – YAY
Being emotionally available to your friend is definitely better than giving unsolicited advice which you know could be just a myth and has no chance of it being successful. Thus, let’s not say anything that could potentially disappoint your friend (again).
“Maybe it is not meant to be” - NAY
Fertility is not entirely up to nature and really, is not something within our control. Negative things are bad enough, but ‘not meant to be’ is too much for one to handle and maybe, your friend could be silently breaking down inside.
Instead, say: “It must be frustrating for you, I’m so sorry” – YAY
It is important for you to reach out and feel for your friend when needed, being there as a confidant and check in with your friend when needed through text, with no pressure on sharing how the results are.
“You can take my kids” - NAY
Although this may pass off as a casual joke but, hey, little did you know that this could hurt her, as she yearns deeply for a child. You have a child, we get it but do not go rubbing into the wounds of others when they want to have one! Do not try to make your blessing sound like a curse when it is a joy.
Instead, say: “ I have a friend who can relate to you, do you want to speak to her?” – YAY
Chances are that you may have friends who had experienced a miscarriage, going through IVF or are experiencing the same situation of being infertile. Talking it out with someone who can relate will understand better, providing an arm of emotional support for both ladies.
“You’re young, you still have time to get pregnant!” - NAY
Although one may be young, there could be health reasons that could affect fertility for the couple, leading to infertility, or even unexplained infertility. There is no guarantee that being younger will have a higher chance of getting pregnant and time is not always on your side.
Instead, say “ It must be difficult, I’m sorry. Is there anything that I can help?”- YAY
Offer help when you can and though we will never really understand how going through infertility is like, you can always help in the little ways possible, bringing them out for a meal or hanging around for casual conversations, which could lessen their stress and take their mind off infertility for a while.
“Have you thought of adoption?” - NAY
Although your comments may seem harmless, having an adoption in family planning is a big move, considering that there are many decisions to be made as a couple and it could be a tiring process with visitings and legal paperwork.
Instead, say “ I support you for your decisions, as long as it makes you feel better” – YAY
Be it stopping fertility treatments or looking at adoptions as an option, supporting your friend through difficult times will mean a lot. It is okay to let people be sad with you though they are unable to provide any helpful advice, and not many will be able to do that.