Infertility is a common symptom that women deal with. About 10 percent of women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant. Knowing that you cannot have children can be a stressful experience. If you know a friend or family member who is struggling with fertility, today I'm going to give you some tips for having conversations with her. Let's begin.
Don't Bring Up the Subject
Let your friend bring up the subject of infertility at her own time. If she doesn't feel like talking about it, don't force her to. If you want to know how things are going, kindly say, "How have you been lately?" That way, it is not too obvious that you are asking about her infertility. She can talk about it if she wants to, or she can answer by talking about daily life if talking about infertility is too hard for her.
Don't Assume What Worked For You Or Someone Else Will Work For Her
Unless your friend asks for advice, try not to give her counseling on how to become pregnant. Each fertility case is different, and there are many reasons why women deal with infertility. Don't assume you know why she is having trouble with fertility. Only give advice if she asks for it.
You Don't Need To Remind Her To Relax
It was once believed that if you are constantly thinking about getting pregnant you will struggle with infertility. This, however, is simply an old wives' tale that has no scientific evidence to prove it to be true. Although stress can create hormonal changes that can contribute to infertility, this is usually not the reason why women deal with infertility. The next time you have a conversation with your friend, don't talk about how she should relax more. It can cause even more stress if she believes she has to relax more.
Don't Keep Asking If She Is Pregnant Yet
It can be tempting to ask for updates on if your friend is pregnant yet, but it is best to wait until your friend is ready to tell you. Even if you suspect that she is pregnant, you may be wrong and it will hurt her feelings even more if she must tell you that she isn't pregnant yet. If you are wondering how things are going, simply ask, "How are you?" or "How has everything been?"
If You Are Struggling With Fertility Too, Don't Spend All Your Time Talking With It
If you are having trouble getting pregnant as well, try not to spend all your time talking about it. Spending all your time talking about fertility can be depressing for your friend. Instead, talk about exciting and fun subjects. Consider taking a day off to go see a movie together or eating at a restaurant.
If You Are Pregnant Or Already Have Children, Don't Talk Too Much About It
If you found out you are pregnant or already have children, it's ok to talk a little bit about them but don't make that the focus of your conversation. Talking about your pregnancy or children can be a painful reminder to her that she can't have children. That doesn't mean you can't talk about this subject at all. Just don't give her every little detail.
Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
Just as you shouldn't constantly talk about your children, don't complain about how difficult pregnancy is. Although you'll have to deal with symptoms such as morning sickness, back pain, and stretch marks, don't put her in the position of having to comfort you.
Listen To What She Has To Say
Sometimes listening to your friend is better than giving advice or changing the subject. Let your friend talk to you about her fears and stress. Don't interrupt her with advice unless she asks for it.
Don't Keep Telling Her That She Can Always Adopt
Although adopting a child may sound like the perfect solution, it can be difficult to let go of the thought of having your own children. That is why you shouldn't constantly tell your friend that she should consider adopting. She has probably already considered the option of adopting a child, so it is best to let her make that decision.
Don't Tell Her How Lucky She Is Not To Have Kids
Being infertile can be stressful and frustrating, so there is no reason why you should tell your friend how lucky she is not to have children. Even though there can be days when parents feel tired and overwhelmed, that doesn't mean parents don't love and treasure their kids. Telling your friend how lucky she is not to have children won't make her feel any better, so it is best to avoid telling her that.
Don't Tell Her "It's Not That Bad"
Avoid telling your friend that being infertile isn't the end of the world. Sentences like "It's not that bad" or "At least it's not cancer" will only make her feel worse. On the other hand, don't talk about how terrible infertility is. Instead, just listen to her and be the friend that she needs.
Avoid Telling Her About Lifestyle Changes She Should Make
Your friend has probably already researched a lot about how to overcome infertility, so there is no need for you to offer advice unless she asks for it. For example, don't suggest that she should try fertility boosters or lose weight. Even though these suggestions may help her become fertile, it is best if you avoid offering advice unless she asks for it.
Ask Her If You Can Do Anything For Her
Being infertile can be a stressful time for your friend. In a kind way, ask her if she needs any help. Perhaps you could sit with her at her appointments and be there to comfort her. If she decides to lose some weight to make the treatments more effective, ask if she wants you to workout with her. If she already has kids or has pets, ask if she needs help watching them while she goes to appointments. Don't feel bad if she says she doesn't need any help. Just tell her that if anything comes up to let you know that you're happy to help.
Don't Tell Her That She Has Plenty Of Time To Get Pregnant
It is common for people to tell their young infertile friends that they have plenty of time to get pregnant and they shouldn't be worried. However, the truth is that anyone of any age can be infertile. Although younger people have a better chance of having children, you shouldn't tell your friend about how she has plenty of time to have kids. Also, avoid asking her why she didn't try to have kids when she was younger. This will only hurt her feelings and make her think she did something wrong.
Don't Avoid the Topic
Although you may not know what to say, if your friend wants to talk about her infertility don't suddenly change the subject. Let her bring up the subject on her own, and when she does listen to what she is saying.
Do Some Research On Infertility
Try to do some research on infertility before you have conversations with your friend. That way if she mentions something (such as trying an IVF) you'll understand what it means and she won't have to explain it. Remember though that just because you did some research doesn't mean that you should offer advice. As I have already mentioned, only offer advice if she asks for it.
Remember That Some Holidays Will Be Difficult For Her
Two holidays that will be difficult for your friend are Mother's Day and Father's Day. Because these days will be hard for your friend, try not to go overboard on talking about these days. For example, don't give all the details on what your kids made you for Mother's Day. This can be a painful reminder that she doesn't have any kids. Perhaps on these days, you could do something else special with her to get her mind off the thought of not having children.
Don't Tell Her That She's Not Meant To Be A Parent
The truth is that no human being knows why some women have children and others don't. Telling your friend that she is not meant to be a parent can be hurtful and discouraging to your friend. However, don't make promises to her either saying that you know she'll have children one day. No one knows what the future holds, so don't tell her things that you don't know.
Send Some Gifts Her Way
Gifts aren't a way of showing pity to your friend, but they are a way to brighten your friend's day. Flowers, a massage certificate, a book, meals, or even just a card are simple ways to let your friend know that you are thinking of her.
I hope this article has answered all your questions on how to talk with a friend who is dealing with infertility. Remember that you shouldn't bring up the subject and you shouldn't offer advice. Unless she asks you a question, simply listen to her and ask if there is anything you can do for her. Avoid telling her how lucky she is not to have children or how things could be worse. These words can make your friend feel more stressed and depressed. Remember that the best way you can comfort your friend is to listen to her. Be the friend that she needs during these difficult times.
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