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Handling Insensitive Comments About Infertility

If you’ve been struggling with infertility, by now you’ve probably received your fair share of invasive comments about your number, or lack, of children. If you have no kids, people will ask you “When are you going to have a baby?” Couples with one child will hear, “Hey, don’t you want to give little joey a brother?” If you have two kids and want another people will think you’re crazy for wanting three. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win!

Infertility, like weight, religion, and political beliefs should be considered personal and off limits for discussion, but, unfortunately, it seems like these days a person’s fertility is an open topic. Most likely well-meaning family and friends who want to know when, why, or why not you’re having children, have bombarded you with questions. In other cases, strangers or family have made invasive or belittling comments about your efforts to have a child. Whatever the circumstance, fielding those kinds of comments can make you want to shout. Park Avenue Fertility offers a few other options for handling insensitive comments or questions about infertility.

  • Change the subject. You don’t owe anyone information about your infertility or treatments. If someone asks a question you don’t want to answer, change the subject. If they don’t get the message, try the next tactic.
  • Explain it’s private. Just because your colleague’s sister’s friend had IVF, it doesn’t mean you’re required to talk about your own fertility treatments. If you don’t want to discuss it, let them know that this topic is personal to you and that talking about it makes you uncomfortable.
  • Let your partner handle the conversation. After privately deciding what is off-limits to share, let your partner handle snarky comments or the nosey aunt.
  • Be honest. Whether it means openly discussing an attempt at intrauterine insemination (IUI) or bluntly telling someone to drop the topic because it’s not their business, being honest can feel cathartic and give you control of the situation.
  • Walk away. If you’re just not able to make any kind of response, it’s perfectly ok to excuse yourself and walk away.
  • Respond with humor. Some days this is easier than others, but responding with humor can ease frustration and nicely remind the commenter to choose their words more wisely.
  • Let it go. Sometimes insensitive comments are based on real concern or the desire to be helpful. Sometimes people say awkward things because they don’t know what to say. And sometimes people are just rude. If you can, let it go.

While some people are open to sharing their experience with infertility, others are not. What’s important is to remember that you are not required to share or discuss your experience with anyone. Fertility treatments are personal, and our Connecticut fertility centers in Fairfield, Norwalk, and Trumbull do our best to make sure your experience is positive. To learn more about Park Avenue, contact us at 855-901-BABY (2229).

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