What to Say (and What Not to Say) to Someone with Infertility Issues
Infertility is an extremely sensitive topic. Knowing what to say, and perhaps more importantly, how to communicate with someone experiencing infertility, will make conversations much easier. Below are suggestions for what (and what not) to say to someone who is struggling with infertility.
What to say?
1. Let them know that you care – the best thing you can do is let them know that you care, are available anytime to be an open listener, and another shoulder to lean on.
2. Do some research and know about the topic – read up about infertility, and possible treatments or other family building options your friend is considering, so that you are informed when your friend needs to talk.
3. Provide extra outreach to your male friends – this one is extremely important. Infertility is not only a woman-centric issue. Male factor fertility issues could also be part of their treatment. Your male friends could also be grieving silently. Don’t push, but let them know you’re available.
What not to say?
1. Don’t say there are worse things that could happen. Who is the final authority on what is the “worst” thing that could happen to someone? Different people react to different life experiences in different ways.
2. Don’t gossip about your friend’s condition. For many, infertility treatments are a very private matter, which is why you must respect your friend’s privacy and maintain confidentiality.
3. Don’t complain about your pregnancy. For many facing infertility, it can be hard to be around other women who are pregnant. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Not complaining can make things a little easier for your friend.
4. Do not say to relax and things will happen naturally. This is perceived as highly insensitive as they might have been experiencing problems longer than you are aware. Relaxing will not change a physical problem that exists.
Source: Pasadena now