While it’s true that stress may contribute to infertility, the fact remains that infertility is a medical issue that can’t be solved by taking a bubble bath. Besides, have you ever tried to relax on command? Here, try it: RELAX! Feel better? Told you.
I was once told by an 18 year old co-worker, "You should read a book every night before bed. That's what I do to destress." I am a complete bookworm and if reading was all it took to get me pregnant, I'd have hundreds of babies by now. Double points for reading ABOUT having babies.
'Maybe You're Doing It Wrong'
Huh. Well, maybe you’re doing it wrong. Once you get past a certain age, the mechanics of baby-making just aren’t that mysterious, people. You just made your infertile friend feel like she’s too stupid to figure it out.
'Everything Happens for a Reason'
Or, “It’s God’s plan.” If God planned for you to suddenly become unemployed, would you not go out and look for another job? People with no sensitivity-meter think this statement is comforting, but it’s actually quite hurtful. We all — those of us who believe in God, anyway — prefer to think that God wants the best for us.
Another favorite of mine is, "It will happen it just takes time." When you have medical issues causing infertility, time isn't on your side. The longer you wait the harder it is to find the problem and correct it.
'There Are Worse Things that Could Happen'
Infertility is emotionally, spiritually and, often, physically painful. Don’t negate another person’s pain by pointing out that there are others out there who hurt more. There are no winners in the Pain Olympics.
'At Least You're Having Fun Trying!'
Studies show that more than 50 percent of couples report a loss of interest in sex while dealing with infertility, so … not so much. Ever have to pee on a stick to find out if it’s time to have sex? Or had to check your cervical mucus? Romantic.
'My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy. Why Don't You Take Them?'
Your fertility-challenged friend wants to be a parent, not a babysitter. And inside, she’s quietly hating you for rubbing your fertility in her face.
'You're So Lucky. You Get to Sleep In/Travel/Stay Out Late'
This is the perfect way to minimize your friend’s pain and daily struggle with infertility. Morning sickness, weight gain, sleepless nights, empty bank accounts — these are things your friend is actively looking forward to, because they are part of the joy of being a parent.
More often than not the above statement is coming from someone who WANTED to have baby. What did you expect? Parenting is hard, but anything in life worth having usually is.
'It's Simple: Just Adopt!'
Though an infertile couple may eventually turn to adoption, there’s nothing “simple” about coming to that decision — and the adoption process itself is often long, expensive and complicated.
I am totally pro adoption, but one thing I will never understand is why are the infertile ones made to feel like it's their obligation to adopt? There is nothing wrong with a fertile couple adopting but nobody suggests that THEY do it. There is also nothing wrong with a couple(infertile or fertile) wanting a biological child of their own, and doing everything in their power to have one.
'I Think You Should [Insert Unsolicited Advice Here]'
Alternate comment: “My friend got pregnant by drinking Mountain Dew.” Infertility is a complex issue that doesn’t have one single cause. Your friend is probably already being seen by a doctor who knows far more about fertility than you ever will.
I've learned to just grin and bear it when it comes to getting advice like this. But common sense dictates that when you've tried as long as I have to get pregnant, you try EVERYTHING. I guarantee anything you say I've already heard from one source or another.
'Don't Worry; You're Young!'
Basically: never point out someone's "young age" as positive because you never know their full medical issues.
'Babies/Kids Are More Fun When The Time Is Right'
If people waited til timing was 'perfect' they wouldn't have babies at all.
Someone please tell me why it's okay to say this to an infertile couple. I would never say this to someone who was thinking of buying a new car, or planning a vacation, etc. I don't know your circumstances and you don't know mine. Don't presume to think you know when is the right time for me.
Try this instead: "I am here if you ever need to talk. I can only imagine how hard it must be." With this, you are not saying that you "understand," — you are empathizing. The only people that can truly understand what infertility feels like are infertile people. Empathize without downplaying their problem — offer support and comfort.