Not pregnant yet? Well, here come your well-meaning friends and family with their thoughts on as to why…
Why are other people's thoughts about your reproductive life, usually said with the best of intentions, often so downright annoying? According to Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, it is probably because much of "the advice" coming from friends and family is often misguided and, in some cases, downright wrong. Collura told MSN the truth behind the three comments infertile women tend to hear (and cringe over) the most:
1. "Have you tried IVF/acupuncture/headstands?"
Friends and family may jump in with advice as soon as they find out that a loved one is struggling with fertility because "so often, the instinct is to fix things," explains Collura. Yes, it is true that someone in your inner circle could alert you to valuable fertility information, but "what's more important is to listen," says Collura. When (and if) you decide to bring up the topic of infertility, preface it with a statement that you really need a friendly ear to listen right now and are not seeking out solutions—only comfort.
2. "Just relax and it will happen."
Sure, sometimes a couple goes on a relaxing, romantic vacation and comes back a threesome. But the "just relax" principle doesn't always work for everyone; even recent research on the topic of stress and fertility shows mixed results. "There are so many myths about fertility issues," says Kristin Foristall, who conceived her daughter via IVF, to MSN. "I tried relaxing. I stopped drinking coffee. I meditated. Sorry, that didn't fix my problem. Science did!"
When friends reduce the often intense frustration of infertility down to an offhand suggestion to "stop worrying so much," it can make you feel minimized, Collura says. If this is someone you trust and want to share information with, state the facts of your situation first as a way to leave fertility myths out of the conversation.
3. "I know you're going to be upset, but I'm pregnant."
Yes, finding out a friend's baby news can hurt—and sometimes hurt a lot—but so can assumptions made on the part of others about how you will react. "Most women want to hear about other people's baby news, in a matter-of-fact way and early enough so they're not the last to know," says Collura. If you have friends who you are know are actively to get pregnant, gently let them know this—and if you do suddenly experience a mix of happy and sad emotions upon hearing the news, it's OK. As soon as you can, focus on the positive ones in passing along your congratulations.