There is no denying how stressful it is to overcome infertility. Fertility treatments are often long and involved, IVF meds are expensive, and most couples go through several treatment plans before finding success. As an outsider looking in, it can be difficult to help your friend or family member going through fertility treatment. There is a great deal of debate over how much stress influences the treatment. Even if stress does not physically make it harder to conceive, you want to make things as easy as possible for the couple. While there are many steps to take to help improve their mood, sometimes the best thing to do is avoid certain subjects or questions known for causing stress.
Avoiding the Subject
Some supporters believe the best way to support an infertile couple is to avoid discussing fertility at all. The logic behind this is the couple needs a break from constant fertility talk, researching online IVF meds, or trying to learn how to take Gonal F, so it is good for them to have a friend they can simply hang out with and forget about their stress. While this may sound good in theory, it often does not work in practice. It is true couples need occasional breaks from fertility talk, but more often than not couples need someone to lean on. Most couples spend the majority of their time discussing fertility with a doctor. Even a doctor with the best bedside manner is no replacement for a friend.
You do not want to make every single conversation about their infertility, but you must avoid making the couple feel like it is a taboo subject. If you never discuss it at all, you may be implying it is a problem you do not care about, which could make the couple feel guilty or like they are being bad friends for needing to discuss it at all. The best thing to do is let them bring up the subject, and if it seems like they need to vent about their struggles, or even how icky the IVF drugs make them feel, lend a supportive ear. Even something as small as letting them know you are there if they need to talk after a treatment can make a significant difference for the couple.
Avoiding Family Talk
One of the most confusing areas is whether or not you can discuss what is going on with your family while your friends are struggling to conceive. For many parents, it feels wrong to discuss what is going on with their children because it seems rude in light of everything the infertile couple is dealing with. Your friends are well aware you have children and will notice when you suddenly stop talking about them. You are not sparing their feelings by avoiding the subject, you are only shining a light on how you are changing your behavior around the couple, which can make them feel socially ostracized.
Many couples appreciate the normalcy of their friendships. If you are sharing good news, your friends are likely to feel better even in light of everything they are going through. The most important thing with discussing your family is timing. If the couple just confessed how they are scared the treatments or infertility meds may not work, do not launch into a story about how great parenthood is for you.
Balancing Positivity and Realism
It may seem strange, but one of the ways you can best support a couple struggling with infertility is by limiting your support for them. Couples must be strong to go through fertility treatments. Before the plans even begin, many doctors recommend the couple go through some kind of psychological treatment to prepare for the challenge. It is important to be supportive and acknowledge how strong or proud you are of the couple for getting through the plan, but if you are constantly offering them positivity it may come off as condescending.
Depending on the couple, there may be rough patches during the fertility treatment. Trying to push through these with positivity may upset the infertile couple. Sometimes, the best way to support them is by acknowledging the pain and hardship. This shows solidarity, but it also makes the couple feel comfortable discussing the issue. If you only ever try to give a positive spin to things, you risk the couple feeling like you are not listening to them or are being dismissive of their hardships.
It is normal to want to help your friends or family through a difficult time. Many supporters are quick to go online or speak with a doctor to learn more about infertility. Educating yourself is fine, but it causes problems when you take your research to the next level and start trying to design a treatment plan on behalf of the couple. Locating a discount IVF meds pharmacy online may end up backfiring on you.
Infertile couples must do a great deal of research and often spend hours speaking with doctors to craft a fertility treatment plan. In addition, the plans themselves must be customized to match the couple, looking at factors like age and medical history to come up with an ideal treatment. Fertility medication and treatment options must be carefully balanced.
There is no way you can know more than the couple from doing your research. Making suggestions or implying you understand the process better than the couple does comes off as condescending and may push the couple away. The only time you should help with finding a doctor is in the beginning if the couple is struggling to find a clinic to speak with. Once the couple has an appointment, take a step back and trust their doctor is doing their job.
Looking for Alternatives
Another common mistake is looking for alternate solutions to fertility treatments, such as looking into adoption agencies or foster programs. Your friends and family are already aware these are perfectly valid options for starting a family. However, there are many couples who are more comfortable conceiving a child together as opposed to adopting a child. If the couple has not brought up the subject, do not try and pressure them into discussing an alternate means of starting a family as it only undermines what they are going through with their fertility treatment.
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Melody Bussey as a Florida based content writer, dedicated to giving your words the wings to fly. She loves to explore recent trends in fertility medications. She is always up for travel & adventure.