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Unwanted Infertility Advice

Everyone loves giving their opinion and advice. Be it sports, food, cars, partners, religion…someone will give an opinion of said topic and try to get others to heed their advice.

But if there’s one thing nobody needs to be giving advice on, it would be infertility and the problems surrounding it. The statistics are blatant: one in eight couples will be affected by the frustrations of infertility. Furthermore, the problem could lie with the man or the woman. Infertility can cause the same levels of anxiety and depression in a woman that is exhibited with individuals struggling with cancer, HIV, or heart disease according to Alice Domar.

“You name it, I’ve heard it,” Domar said. “People seem to have all these ideas of what people can do to get pregnant.” If given the chance, people will give you every tidbit of information and advice under the sun, and women who are already struggling could do without it! Domar said she’s heard many insensitive comments from family, friends, and co-workers. While she is still baffled by why people would say such statements, she understands that many people don’t know how to respond to infertility.

“I really don’t believe that people are trying to be cruel, I don’t believe they are trying to be insensitive,” she said. “I think there is a tremendous amount of erroneous stuff on the Internet, so they hear something, and they talk about it and believe they are giving valuable advice.”

Here are just a few things that should never be said to a woman or a couple struggling with infertility:

  • “Relax, you’re trying too hard.”
  • “Why don’t you just adopt?”
  • “If you quit trying, you’d get pregnant.”
  • “You are seeing the wrong fertility doctor.”
  • “God has a plan.”
  • “You should quit your job and focus on getting pregnant.”
  • Opposing advice would be: “Don’t drink” or “do drink.”
  • “You don’t need to exercise” or “you definitely should exercise.”

During situations such as infertility, it is best to listen and offer support instead of giving “advice.” Instead, be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes that’s all a person needs.