Does someone you love struggle with infertility?
Are you the loved one of someone struggling with infertility? Do you find it hard to know what to say to be supportive? Maybe everything you say or do seems to come out wrong or be taken the wrong way? Then this page is for you! Read on to learn how you can best support your loved one.
Step 1: Educate yourself about what your loved one is going through
The psychological impact of infertility is hard to understand if you've never gone through it but there are lots of resources that can at least give you a glimpse of what it's like. Go to our Resources page and consider watching a documentary like One More Shot or reading a blog about the emotional struggles of infertility.
You can also read more about your loved one's diagnosis (if they've shared it) or the treatments they're undergoing to better understand what they're up against. There are several informative websites like Resolve.org and ASRM.org that provide medical information in an easy-to-digest format.
Step 2: Learn about what not to say
Watch the video on our Home page and take notes! The comments depicted in the video were chosen by individuals with infertility as the most commonly heard but also most frustrating. To learn more about why some of these comments are upsetting to those struggling with infertility, check out our blog post on "5 things not to say to someone struggling with infertility".
Step 3: Ask how you can be most supportive
Everyone's different - some people want to talk about their struggles in great detail while others prefer to be distracted from their worries. So don't be shy to ask: "How can I help you get through this?". You can also offer practical support, like offering to drive them to a medical appointment or even attending an appointment with them for moral support.
Step 4: Talk less, listen more
Most unhelpful comments by loved ones result from simply not knowing what to say: people feel the need to fill the silence or to lighten the mood or relieve their own discomfort. They often feel pressure to say just the right thing to make the other person feel better. But when we ask individuals with infertility what they want most in their interactions with loved ones, they often report simply wanting someone to listen. So you can take that pressure off yourself - next time your loved one shares about their struggles, try "wow, that's tough - how are you feeling about it all?". Letting them know that they have someone to talk to when they feel ready brings a lot more comfort than you might think.