What To avoid When Supporting an Infertile Friend

 

7 WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FRIEND THROUGH INFERTILITY!

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What not to say to your infertile friend! | What to say instead [CC]

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Dealing with Infertility Angela Lawson, PhD

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5 Things NOT to Say (to your infertile friends)

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How to Support Your Infertile Friends ♥ 5 TIPS!

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5 Ways You Can Support A Friend Through Infertility

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What Not to Do When Supporting an Infertile Friend. Stop Thinking You Can’t Be Supportive Because You’ve Never Struggled With Infertility. There’s a misconception that you can’t provide empathy Stop Assuming They Don’t Want to Hear Anything About Your New Pregnancy or Your Kids. Stop Endlessly.

What not to say: When your friend tells you they are dealing with infertility, you may feel a little flustered because you just want to say the “right” thing. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing you can really say to make her fully get over her situation. There are, however, phrases that can make her feel worse. Here are some examples of what not to say: “It will happen.” No, it might not. Things you should not say to a fertility challenged friend include: Suggestions that they should “just relax,” or “just go on vacation, and it’ll happen.” Any phrase that starts with “at least.” (As in, “At least you already have one kid,” or, after a miscarriage, “At least you know you can get pregnant.”).

Now that you know a little about how your infertile friend feels as she struggles to conceive, there are ways you can support and help her through this journey. Ask, but don’t pry Depending on her personality and particular situation, your infertile friend may or may not want to talk about her struggle. Never tell an infertile person to “just relax,” or tell them that their situation is not that serious. To them, this issue is a large part of their life and the possibility of expanding their family.

You may not be able to understand their feelings fully unless you have experienced the pain yourself. Some people don’t want to talk about infertility, but some do. Let them know you’re available if they want to talk.

Ask them what they need. They may also appreciate if you ask them what the most helpful things to say are. Provide extra outreach to your male friends. Infertility is not a woman’s-centric issue; your male friends are most likely grieving silently. Don’t push, but let them know you’re available.

Supporting this idea, findings from our most recent study suggest that when women seek social support to cope with their infertility, they typically feel more, rather than less, distressed. “Infertility can be an uncomfortable topic, so people often try to minimize the problem when talking to friends with infertility,” says Barbara Collura, President and CEO of RESOLVE: The National. S weet friends and family sometimes have no idea how to handle us, what to say to us, or how to behave around us.

Having lived in the super awesome sorority that is infertility for just over a decade, I have had SO MUCH experience in what to say and what not to say when communicating with a friend that is struggling with infertility. Before I proceed with this list of thoughtful ideas, I want to say that never has the phrase “know your audience” been more true than when choosing a gift for someone struggling with infertility. While the gifts below are designed to be supportive, some women do not want to be reminded of their trouble to conceive.

List of related literature:

When infertility is due to the female partner’s blocked Fallopian tubes or to the low motility or low count of the male partner’s sperm, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be used.

“The Sociology of Health, Healing, and Illness” by Gregory L. Weiss
from The Sociology of Health, Healing, and Illness
by Gregory L. Weiss
Taylor & Francis, 2017

Provide emotional support and encourage patient to discuss treatment of infertility with her physician.

“Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice” by Sandra M. Nettina
from Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice
by Sandra M. Nettina
Wolters Kluwer Health, 2013

Finding your donor There are instances in which friends or acquaintances, aware of your infertility struggles, offer to donate their eggs.

“Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation: Second Edition” by Evelina Weidman Sterling, Ellen Sarasohn Glazer
from Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation: Second Edition
by Evelina Weidman Sterling, Ellen Sarasohn Glazer
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2013

Do nothing because this couple is not “technically” infertile until they have been trying to conceive for 18 months

“Blueprints Obstetrics and Gynecology” by Tamara L. Callahan, Aaron B. Caughey
from Blueprints Obstetrics and Gynecology
by Tamara L. Callahan, Aaron B. Caughey
Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott William & Wilkins, 2009

Consider an infertile married couple, she lacking eggs or he lacking sperm, that wants a child of their (genetic) own and proposes to clone either husband or wife.

“The Ethics of Human Cloning” by Leon Kass, James Q. Wilson, James K Wilson, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Clarisa Long, Christopher C. DeMuth
from The Ethics of Human Cloning
by Leon Kass, James Q. Wilson, et. al.
AEI Press, 1998

Encourage couples to participate in a support group for infertile couples, as well as individual therapy.

“Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, Single Volume” by Sharon L. Lewis, RN, PhD, FAAN, Linda Bucher, Margaret M. Heitkemper, RN, PhD, FAAN, Shannon Ruff Dirksen, RN, PhD
from Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, Single Volume
by Sharon L. Lewis, RN, PhD, FAAN, Linda Bucher, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

Encourage couples to participate in a support group for infertile couples and in individual therapy.

“Adult Health Nursing E-Book” by Kim Cooper, Kelly Gosnell
from Adult Health Nursing E-Book
by Kim Cooper, Kelly Gosnell
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

If the woman has not become pregnant, the couple should consider other therapies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), or consider discontinuing therapy.

“Women's Health Care in Advanced Practice Nursing” by Catherine Ingram Fogel, PhD, RNC, FAAN, Nancy Fugate Woods, PhD, RN, FAAN
from Women’s Health Care in Advanced Practice Nursing
by Catherine Ingram Fogel, PhD, RNC, FAAN, Nancy Fugate Woods, PhD, RN, FAAN
Springer Publishing Company, 2008

Other options are open to her: adoption, childlessness, waiting for possible medical intervention to produce fertility from the damaged ovaries.

“Case Studies in Medical Ethics” by Robert M. Veatch
from Case Studies in Medical Ethics
by Robert M. Veatch
Harvard University Press, 1977

Referral for counseling or support groups, or both, for infertile couples may be appropriate.

“Black's Medical-Surgical Nursing, First South Asia Edition” by Malarvizhi S., Renuka Gugan
from Black’s Medical-Surgical Nursing, First South Asia Edition
by Malarvizhi S., Renuka Gugan
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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3 comments

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  • I haven’t experienced those comments, but what I did experience was after I had suffered a miscarriage at 8 weeks, someone actually said to me “At least it happened before it was a baby.” Seriously. I know the person didn’t mean any harm, but I felt like saying “ If it wasn’t a baby, I wouldn’t have been pregnant.” That comment really hurt.

  • I would LOVE a video on how to support your friend who has lost a child to miscarriage.
    Just as a side note: mothers/fathers day can be so hard for people who have parents that have passed, are no longer in their lives, or are/were abusive. So just in general, as a human, be kind on those days. I wish people spoke about that a bit more.

  • Love this video!
    I have PCOS and have been struggling with infertility for a little while now. Nothing frustrates me more than when people say ‘I know other women who have PCOS and got pregnant right away so why can’t you?’ And ‘stop thinking about it and it’ll happen’ meanwhile it’s the same people who fell pregnant straight away and didn’t go through the pain we’ve been through with infertility that seem to have the all the answers ��