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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/.

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 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.

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