The holiday season can be fun, exciting and full of events with family members and friends.
However, for a lot of people, even though they are looking forward to the holidays, this time of year brings mixed feelings – will they have to talk about their relationship status at the dinner table in front of their family? Will their friends ask for details about their career?
Undergoing fertility treatment during the holidays
For fertility patients, this concern can be even worse. You may wonder if you’ll be asked questions about your current treatment plan; or if you’ll be asked to explain the particulars of a diagnosis; or, of course, the dreaded “Have you tried…” situation, when a well-meaning family member or friend offers advice, usually without any medical qualifications or background on your medical history.
Some couples and individuals are content to grin and bear it, accepting that these types of questions just come with the territory of an annual check-in that occurs during the holidays. Others can be more overwhelmed, contemplating skipping events in order to avoid questions they’d rather not answer.
Everyone is different, and that is 100% okay. It is up to individual patients to decide how much and what types of information they wish to share with family members and friends – some couples might want to provide a full explanation so that others understand their sensitivities, while others prefer to keep family-planning goals entirely private. Again, these choices are all 100% okay.
Five ways to deflect from questions about fertility
Sometimes, even if you make it clear that your treatment plan or latest appointment is not going to be on the menu, these questions still arise. If you find that you struggle to answer questions about family planning, there are ways to politely, yet firmly, make it clear that you are not interested in continuing the conversation. Responses to questions include:
- Thank you for checking in. I appreciate your asking, but I don’t have any news at the moment.
- Thanks for asking, but my partner, (name), and I are going to keep those details private moving forward. We’ll let you know if there’s anything we’d like to share.
- Nothing I’d like to share at this time, but thank you for checking in.
- I’ll let you know if there’s anything we’re ready to share, thank you.
- I appreciate the check-in, but we’re not sharing anything at this time.
Of course, you can use your best judgment when considering these types of responses. But the above points illustrate a polite but firm, and hopefully final, way of ending conversations about family planning during the holiday season.