What Not to Say to Experiencing Infertility

Do you know someone experiencing infertility? What do you say to support them? I truly believe most people don’t understand the impact their words can have, so while you think you may be saying something helpful, it may be just the opposite.

Here are a few things NOT to say.

  1. “Just relax/Just stop trying and it’ll happen”. Infertility is a medical diagnosis. No amount of relaxing is going to cure infertility. By saying this you’re also placing blame on the individual and making it sound like it’s their fault.

  2. “Just adopt!” Adoption is an amazing thing, but it’s not for everyone. Many couples want to try to have a biological child and that is their right. Also remember both individuals in the relationship need to be on board for adoption. It often takes many years to come to the conclusion that adoption is the answer.

  3. “My friend/cousin/sister/brother/etc did ______, have you tried it?” I can’t stress enough that infertility is a medical diagnosis. Every case is individual and each couple that is undergoing treatment is working with specialized doctors. Let the doctors and couple do the work of figuring out what to do!

  4. “Trust in God’s timing”. While this is often a needed reminder for some, to other’s it’s just not helpful.

  5. “At least you already have a child”. Secondary infertility can have just as a detrimental impact on mental health as when trying to conceive your first child. Having a child already, while a blessing, doesn’t make the treatment process any easier.

SO, what do you say? I’m sorry. I’m here for you. Do you want to talk about it? Can I pray for you? I’m here to listen. I love you. That’s it! It’s natural to want to solve our loved ones problems, but sometimes we just can’t. Show up by showing your love and that’s all you need to do.

Courtney Bauerle