by Anna Karsten

What You Shouldn’t Say to Someone Who Battles Infertility

1 in 8 couples struggle to get pregnant. Whether it’s from the start or secondary infertility. Most usually don’t share their struggles, because they’re afraid of these type of comments.

I saw a post by someone else on how much unsolicited advice one can get on their infertility journey. Trust me, I got a fair share.

After so many I already encountered I decided to explain the reasons why some things should not be commented on.

It was something I expected after years of unsolicited advice for my psoriasis because while only a high dose of immunosuppressant works surely some oils and reducing gluten will totally fix it (#nope).

Below I explain some typical comments you definitely shouldn’t say to someone struggling with infertility and why:

1. Just Relax, Stop Trying and it Will Happen.

This isn’t how the human body and mind works. Everyone is relaxed at first, but imagine this: 50% of couples get pregnant on their first try. 70% will get pregnant after a few months.

If you get negative after negative, month after month, you cannot just relax. It’s sad and frustrating.

Also, don’t get my started on how medically wrong “stop trying with timed intercourse” is. It’s simply impossible to get pregnant after you already ovulated or when your follicles aren’t ready.


2. Just Wait and It Will Happen.

Sure, some miracles happen that suddenly after years of treatments people get pregnant on a whim, but that’s exactly why they’re called unexpected miracles.

The chances of getting pregnant are getting smaller with age. It’s a fact, not an opinion.

Many people, myself included, cannot always wait because of underlying conditions. Others simply don’t want to wait. There’s nothing wrong with trying and wanting a baby when you feel it’s right.


3. Have You Tried Changing Your Diet?

Have you? None of the diets are medically proven.

I travel a lot, so changing my diet is a regular occurrence. Ironically, the last two times I was pregnant my diet was absolute trash.


4. Why Don’t You Just Adopt?

Not everyone is up for adoption for MANY reasons. Not everyone can adopt either.

I am actually up for it, but it’s a lengthy process that not everyone qualifies for. There are age requirements, length of marriage requirements, health and other requirements).

Not to mention the costs involved in the process. In the US adoption isn’t free like it in Europe (* adoption is free only from foster care system, but it doesn’t guarantee the kids will stay with you and not everyone qualifies again – eg. we don’t ).

Adoption with an agency costs $30-50k. If you think infertility treatments are pricy, this is pricier. It’s also an approximate 2 years wait from start to finish, but it could be even longer.


5. You’re Still Young.

Infertility has nothing to do with age. You can be infertile at 20 or 40.

The age you decide to have your kids also isn’t anyone’s business. People tend to criticize older moms and young moms, but there’s nothing wrong with either. It’s not anyone else call but the birth parents.


6. You Already Have a Baby, It Could be Worse.

Sure, my life could be worse – children are starving in Africa while I have a roof over my head. You cannot think that way.

It’s basically like telling someone’s who’s divorced that they already had a spouse, so they’re fine. Or a traveler that they’ve already been to one country, why visit more because many cannot travel at all. 

It’s not anyone’s business how many kids does one person want. If you want one – good for you. If you want six – that’s fine.

Every family feels completed at different stages. The same goes for if you don’t want kids at all! 😉

infertility

7. It’s Impossible to Have an Unexplained Infertility. There must be a reason

If there was a reason 1 in 5 couples wouldn’t have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Unexplained basically means that it’s a diagnosis of elimination.

It’s been checked that it’s not something or something that makes you infertile. There is a reason; we just don’t know what it is.

It’s already frustrating to be diagnosed with it, now imagine having to explain it to everyone. It’s not just “trying too hard” or something in your head. It’s a medical condition.


It’s understandable to be unaware of someone else’s issues if you have no experience in this matter, but instead giving unsolicited advice you could simply ask: if you want to share, what are you doing now or how are you feeling, instead. 

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