Infertility: Responding to Questions from Family and Friends

When you are experiencing infertility, one of the most difficult challenges is communicating with family and friends about what may be a devastating life crisis. Even the most caring relative or friend may offer a "helpful" suggestion, which will appear wildly insensitive to you. Here are some questions you may encounter-and answers you can use to deal with your in-laws and friends.

Family Matters

Infertility is a process, and it may mean letting go of initial dreams. Stay informed about the wide range of options available to you. Also, try to connect with others facing similar experiences. The Internet is a great way to do this.

Family Matters

"Resolve" is a national non-profit organization that, for more than 20 years, has been helping people deal with infertility by providing information, support, and advocacy through publications, infertility support groups, physical referrals, and a hotline. Their Internet address is http://www.resolve.org/.

  • Question: "So, when are you going to start a family? You two aren't getting any younger!"

    Answer: "We consider ourselves a family now. We love children and especially enjoy our nieces, nephews, and friends' kids. If we decide to expand our family, we'll be sure to let you know."

  • Question: "When are you going to stop concentrating on your career and start a family?"

    Answer: "I don't believe my job and a family are mutually exclusive. My career is advancing, and I'm very proud of my work. When we feel the time is right, we will consider starting our family."

  • Question: "Well, I guess we'll never be grandparents."

    Answer: "We truly hope that someday you will have grandchildren. Whether we have children biologically or through adoption, we look forward to sharing our happiness with you."

  • Question: "I wish you'd take one of my kids -- they drive my absolutely crazy!"

    Answer: "Oh thanks, then they'd drive me crazy!"

  • Question: "I've heard about a tremendous new experimental infertility treatment. Why don't you try that?"

    Answer: "It may sound easy, but infertility treatments are very complicated -- not all the new developments apply to every case."

Parents, after your children have explained their infertility to you, give them a rest. Don't demand news of every test, procedure, and medication. Assure them that you may not understand how difficult this must be for them, but you extend your love. In addition, refrain from sharing "helpful" tidbits about getting pregnant, such as Aunt Sherry's use of Vitamin E, surefire sexual positions, and bizarre herbal remedies like powered grasshoppers in mint tea.

As stressful and painful as infertility is, it can also be a chance for families to come together and support each other. An understanding and loving comment can go a long way to help a family member deal with this painful time. In-laws will long remember the kindness done to them at this time.


excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dealing with In-Laws © 1998 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

stay connected


The Latest and Greatest Book for Kids
Search our interactive Book Finder for the top new books for kids of all ages, brought to you by the latest book in the I, Funny series, "I Totally Funniest."

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games
Who says you have to stay inside when the temperature drops? Snowy weather is a great excuse to round up your neighborhood for some outdoor winter fun and games.

2015 Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees
The Oscar nominations are in, and they include several family-friendly movies. See which flicks earned a nod for Best Animated Feature Film and other awards.

© 2000-2015 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.