There are many topics that come up in casual conversation which you may wish to avoid at times, and infertility is certainly one of them.
Infertility is a deeply personal issue, even for those who are comfortable discussing their diagnosis with family members and friends.
For those who are less comfortable, or those who simply struggle to talk through an area of their lives that has been a source of stress, pressure and big decisions, we’ve prepared a guide to help in navigating the more awkward areas of infertility.
- End conversations when you want to: There’s a lot of pressure to discuss topics like family planning, even when you’d rather not. For most, questions about when you’ll start or grow your family are “no big deal,” and in their view, it’s polite conversation intended to catch up and show interest in your life. It’s well-meaning, but for those facing an infertility diagnosis, or failed treatment, these questions are a big deal.
- If you’re faced with a question you’d prefer not to answer, you can politely end the conversation with a non-answer, or by asking a question in return. There’s no reason for you to divulge information when you’re not ready, and not every person in your life needs 24/7 personal updates regarding your fertility.
- Have a conversational buffer: Having a trusted partner, family member or friend available to serve as a conversational buffer can go a long way toward avoiding awkward areas of conversation. This individual would help defer to other topics and deflect from areas you’d rather not discuss, when possible. Having a trusted resource that you can rely on will help make events that you might not look forward to much easier. Many patients find that holidays can be particularly difficult, so having this person with you to help steer topics toward less stressful areas is important.
Ultimately, even with efforts to avoid awkwardness, these conversations may happen anyway. Infertility awareness is still a work in progress, and sensitivity can take a hit when someone’s curiosity gets the better of them.
This is why many fertility practices, including Fertility Solutions, encourage patients to seek support. Infertility support groups exist across many platforms, in person and online, for couples, singles, LGBT people, etc. We hope you will connect with your fertility specialist to learn more about local support group options.