Things Not To Be Said To An Infertile Person
A child brings lots of colors and happiness in one’s life; they are indeed a blessing. But there are so many people around us who are trying hard to conceive and going through tough time. At times it becomes hard to say something to such person, especially if he/she is a close friend or a family member. You want to cheer them, raise their spirits but you just don’t know how to? Sometimes in an attempt to encourage our loved ones, we end up hurting them by using unsuitable words.
Here is a list of supportive words or sentences which we should never say to person facing fertility/conception issues.
1. “Be Positive”!
It becomes really difficult to stay positive when your attempts to start a family are failing and everyone else around you is sharing their “good news”! Hearing sentences like “stay positive” “don’t lose hope, you have to be positive” often works the other way around. It creates more negativity and makes the person feel that they are weak and vulnerable and other people are pitying them.
2. “Stop Trying! It Will Happen On Its Own”
Maybe a point will come that they will think that we should stop trying for a while, but it’s not just that easy! Most women are very skeptical when it comes to conception. Several thoughts and concerns race through their mind; “My hormones are going down”,” my eggs are getting old”, “is it a good idea to wait for a miracle to happen or should I look for other options”! This kind of advice and related stories can annoy a person badly and therefore should be avoided. Also sometimes it is good to look for alternative options besides natural pregnancy.
3. “Stay Relax And Don’t Try Too Hard!”
Okay so you are trying to calm them but no one can stay calm in such a situation! Multiple visits to doctor, multiple failed attempts, exploring new treatment options and hope that maybe this time it will work or what if it doesn’t work even this time? Do you think they are not trying to stay relaxed?! All this is not easy and it is quite natural to stress out.
4. “Oh! You Have Lot Of Time! You’re Young!”
It’s not about whether a lady is in her 30s or 50s! Every person knows the right time for them or what issues are underlying.
5. “Why Are You Letting People To Have Control Over You?”
Women with fertility issues have to hear different questions or advices everywhere they go! In order to avoid it, most individuals start restricting their social gathering with friends and family. It is just hard to explain everything to anyone, or even to close ones! And then hearing “why do you let people control you?” is not pleasing at all!
6. “Why Don’t You Babysit My Child, It Will Make You Feel Better?”
Okay, now that’s a very rude gesture! Maybe you are trying to help her because you think that staying around kids and spending time with them will make the lady feel good. However, reality is opposite! It will only create more depression and jealousy! It is not helpful in any way!
7. “Why Don’t You Want To Spend Time With Me And My Baby? You Don’t Want Us To Be Part Of Your Life?”
Like said before, spending time with kids can sometimes worsen things, but that doesn’t mean she hates you or your kid. Even if you feel that she is avoiding you or your kids; it doesn’t necessarily mean that not having their own kids is the cause. People should understand that not everything is about them. It is important to give space and peace of mind to such individuals, instead of pushing them further apart or taunting them.
8. “Kids Are A Headache! You Should Be Happy That You Don’t Have Them Yet!”
Yes, it’s easier to say by those who are blessed with these little angels, but saying this to someone who is yearning to have one, is pretty rude.
9. “Keep Your Legs Up After Having Sex!”
Do you think someone who has gone through almost every single fertility treatment wouldn’t know or have tried these basic tips? Don’t give your expert advice unless you are asked.
10. “You Should Hold Babies, It Will Kick Your Hormones”
Many people think that carrying a baby in arms boosts the fertility hormones in a woman; thereby aiding the conception process. Well, that’s not how it really works. In fact asking such woman to hold your baby, or making your kids sit on her lap, isn’t really a good idea.
11. “Find Other Interests To Make You Happy!”
We know that you are giving such advice because you can’t see your loved ones in depression and that is why you want to divert their attention from this fertility issue. But, it’s not piece of cake! One cannot just simply engage themselves in other activities and forget about the whole thing.
Our advice is that instead of telling people “try this and that” or “you should” or “you should not”, it’s much better to have a normal chit chat with them. If you really want to talk about this “topic” first ask them if they are okay to have this discussion with you and give them space to say no. If they do not want to talk about it, respect their wish and try to understand!
Sometimes we think we are trying to make our loved-ones feel better, but use of inappropriate language or words can inflict more pain. Therefore adequate care and caution must be exercised while dealing with such people.
1. Hinton, L., Kurinczuk, J. J., & Ziebland, S. (2010). Infertility; isolation and the Internet: A qualitative interview study. Patient education and counseling, 81(3), 436-441.
2. Schmidt, L., Christensen, U., & Holstein, B. E. (2005). The social epidemiology of coping with infertility. Human reproduction, 20(4), 1044-1052.
3. Mason, M. C. (1993). Male Infertility–men Talking. Psychology Press.