Know someone who is trying to cope with infertility? Reportedly, 1 in 7 couples face problems having a baby and with those numbers most of us likely have someone in our spheres who is sailing the infertile boat.
While some do not discuss such problems with even their most intimate people, others seek succor in friends and family. If someone decides to share such sensitive information with you, please do not say:
- Just relax! It happens – Would you be able to relax if you found out 80% of your kidney is damaged? Simply asking someone to relax over what is probably a big issue in their lives can label you rude and inconsiderate.
- Kids are anyway bad! Why would anybody want them? – No one wants to make their family decisions on what you think is good or bad. Please respect the fact that they are discussing it with you because they DO want kids.
- Just adopt! – It’s not like an infertile couple is waiting on you to tell them that adoption is an option. Rubbing it in their face is akin to implying adoption is their ONLY option.
- Maybe you are just not meant to have kids – Really? Maybe you are not meant to have friends.
- Keep trying, eventually, it will happen – Even though you want to sound positive and reassuring, it is also important to realize the truth. For some people, it just cannot happen. An honest realization is much kinder than a fake reassurance.
- Have you considered treatments for infertility? – No, the infertile are from another planet where infertility treatments are not heard of. It is unlikely that your friend doesn’t know about in-vitro fertilization, but perhaps it is not so simple. The costs of infertility treatments are high and the success can never be guaranteed.
Maybe you know of a really good doctor or even some highly successful, low-cost IVF options, but fertility treatments always involve financial as well as an emotional risk. If your friends do not feel it is for them, it not good to press. The best you can do is to offer to accompany them to a difficult appointment, if they are willing to go for it.
Different people take things differently and there is nothing quite so right that you say to just anyone suffering from infertility. And, it is not always so important to say something; sometimes, it helps if you just listen, and maybe, directly ask what they need.