Want to mute a conversation fast? Talk about seeking fertility treatments. That may be because few people are talking about infertility. And that may be because no one knows what to say or fears saying the wrong thing.
The silence may also rest on expectation. Fertility is natural, the foundation of existence. Sometimes celebrities share their infertility stories, which opens the conversation to a degree; but even they tend to hold back details. It’s rarely discussed because it’s an intensely private subject.
How to start the conversation
How to talk about fertility largely depends on your situation. Are you the daughter trying to convince her mother you want to “try one more time?” Or, are you the partner who can’t seem to make your significant other understand that becoming pregnant is your life goal? Are you the friend who doesn’t want to see a BFF heartbroken by another miscarriage?
According to Resolve, The National Infertility Association, more than “seven million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.”
You want to support your loved one or friend, but you don’t want to see them hurt or disappointed again. Be supportive and understand that they are willing to take the risk and be disappointed. It means that much to them.
Perhaps more important than what to say is what not to say. Don’t minimize their problem, don’t tell them to relax and please don’t offer suggestions for treatment. That’s between them and their physician.
When something is important to a friend or loved one, allow it to be important to you, too. Be their rock!
Allow yourself to be supported
If you’re trying to become pregnant, don’t be afraid to share your journey with a trusted friend or loved one. Let that person know how much it means to you. But, also understand that “your person” may have concerns for you and your emotional well-being. Don’t misconstrue concern as an objection or judgment.
Talking about fertility gets easier
Talking about infertility gets easier as you continue to speak. It is opening the conversation that we have trouble with. If you’re trying to become pregnant, don’t be afraid to document your journey. The more that people around you understand, the less you will feel the need to explain the “whys” along your path to pregnancy.
“This is the medication I’m taking.”
“This is the protocol.”
By talking about infertility, you’re likely to discover curiosity over objection and compassion over critique.
State your case and make it clear. You understand that disappointments may be on the horizon, but you will feel more disappointed in yourself if you do not give it everything you have.
People can relate to the idea of reaching goals, and when a subject is brought into a relatable context, it is better understood.
Wherever you are on your journey, we want to talk about it.