In light of the upcoming National Fertility Awareness Week (Monday 31st October - Sunday 6th November 2016), I thought I'd raise some awareness regarding what not to say to people experiencing infertility. More often than not, hearing the news of infertility struggles warrants sympathy and in some cases unwanted advice. However, it is this advice that does more harm than good...
1) Relax and stop thinking about it and it'll happen - Infertility can be argued to be incredibly life encompassing for those impacted by it. Therefore, they cannot stop thinking about it! Another point to consider is the fact that, infertility won't just cure itself!
2) Why don't you just adopt? - This will no doubt cause those experiencing infertility rage. Many people are under this misconception that adoption is a cure to infertility. Adoption is not easy and nor is it a cure. Many people adopt because it's always been part of the plan, not because they're infertile. Adoption is not the be all and end all of things!
3) Maybe its him? - Maybe it is, so what? Don't speculate! Maybe it is him, maybe its both! Infertility affects both men and women. Who the infertility lies with is private and should be respected.
4) I know what you're going through, it took us 6 months with our second - This is by far insensitive of them all. Some people experience infertility for years, decades even! People will not take kindly to such an insensitive and unwarranted comparison.
5) I wish I had that problem, all my husband has to do is look at me and I get pregnant - Whilst this may be mentioned as a joke, it's just not funny for those going though infertility. Food for thought.
6) You're so young you have time! - Time may not be of the essence for everyone. Make sure you know you're facts before making comments such as these.
7) I hated being pregnant! - Someone going though fertility treatments wants to be pregnant! They want to experience pregnancy and everything about it! Comments like this will only irritate people.
8) It could be worse. - Infertility is a gut wrenching thing to be dealing with and for some people it is the worst thing in the world.
9) Are you doing IVF? - Infertility and its treatments are private. Don't pry! People will disclose what they feel comfortable disclosing.
10) I understand what you're going through - Whilst this may come from a good place, refrain from using comments like this (especially if you already have children). If you've not experienced infertility and its treatments, then no you don't know what its like!
Moral of the story:
Those going through infertility don't need advice! They need support! Even if that support is just a hug.