Top 5 Things Not To Say To An Infertile Woman

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not pregnantIt’s an awkward conversation, there’s no argument about it. No matter how it’s brought up, infertility challenges the limits of etiquette. Just how should one respond when someone says, “Oh, we would really like to have another, it just hasn’t worked out for us yet.”

Do you try to make a joke? Because an infertility joke is pretty hard to land. Do you express your condolences? A simple, “I’m so sorry to hear that,” never offended anyone. It’s not very personal, but it’s not out of line.

Well, I can’t give you a perfect answer, because every couple and relationship is different. But I can tell you a couple things that I am enormously tired of hearing. Really, the cliches when it comes to infertility responses are horrible. Also, they prove just how misunderstood infertility is. Anyone who knew about the problems that couples who are trying to conceive face would never say something like, “Well you just need to stop trying.”

People who understand infertility realize how infuriatingly condescending that is. (Just in case you didn’t realize, now you know.)

Just to help out, since this conversation seems to be happening more and more, I put together a list of the top five things you should never say to an infertile woman or couple. Keep these in mind next time you’re chatting with anyone who is struggling to have a child.

(Photo: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock)