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When a couple dreams of being parents but they cannot or are having difficulties in doing so, a situation of great stress and suffering occurs for both. As time goes by, the circumstances become much more complicated, since the years have a direct impact on both the quality of the sperm and the ovarian reserve and the quality of the eggs. Empathizing with them is the most important thing. To avoid unfortunate situations, we leave you some advice on comments that don't tell a couple with fertility problems.
In those moments, feeling the support of those closest to you is essential. However, it is very important to know how to express it in the best possible way, as it is a very delicate situation and any inappropriate comment, even though it is raised with the best of intentions, can produce truly distressing situations for the couple.
1. Don't minimize the problem
The fact of not being able to have children causes the emotional state of the couple to affect many aspects of their life and that they dedicate themselves to thinking about it for longer than normal. For this reason, it is necessary to dedicate due importance to it, instead of making comments such as 'It is not such a serious problem' or 'Having children is not such a big deal'.
2. Don't insist that they have to calm down
It is true that being in a state of high stress can influence the conception of a baby, although it is not a determining factor. Likewise, comment and stress that tranquility will help them have children with phrases such as 'As soon as you relax you will get pregnant' or 'Surely if you go on vacation you will stay calmer and you will achieve pregnancy', it will create a greater tendency to nervousness, due to this added pressure. This can imply that it is the person's own responsibility to be nervous and, as a consequence, that the situation is beyond their own control, when it is not.
3. Avoid comparisons
For example, making comments like 'My neighbor managed to have a child after two years of trying'. Each person lives their own process and the way to deal with it is different for each couple. In addition, it can lead them to think that everyone can achieve the dream of being a parent except for them and that, in turn, it increases the feeling of helplessness and low self-esteem.
4. Avoid the issue of adoption or other possible alternatives
Despite being a possible solution to an infertility problem, encouraging them to adopt can cause a feeling of hopelessness. Also, they may not have raised it yet, it may be an uncomfortable topic for them, or there may be certain personal impediments.
5. Don't use the excuse of already having a child as consolation
Despite having already reached fatherhood with a first child, the fact of suffering a case of infertility is just as painful. On the other hand, it may be reason enough for them to feel even more guilty about the situation, believing that their firstborn is not enough for them.
6. Do not convince them that without children you live better
When people make the decision to become parents, it means that they have previously weighed the advantages and disadvantages of having children and are aware of all that that entails. For this reason, comments such as 'Without children it is better', is not something that helps them. In addition, it is possible that, in this way, they are also being hinted that they are making a great deal of effort in vain.
7. Not implying that 'it happened because the time is not right'
If the couple decides to have children at that time, it is because they consider that it is the best for them. The fact of not being able to directly control when to have children can produce a state of uncertainty and lack of control of the situation, which in turn generates constant stress on the couple.
Putting yourself in the shoes of the people who are suffering and trying to encourage them is difficult. It is very important to let them know that their environment really cares about the situation they are going through. The most important thing is to ask them how they feel and actively listen to them without judging them.
Also, it is essential to let them know that both family and friends are at their disposal for everything they need, especially if they want to talk or share their feelings. Surely, those affected think that they are boring and burdensome for always talking about the same topic or that their mood demotivates others.
They must be made to notice that this is not the case and that everyone around them is willing to dedicate time to them whenever they need it. In this sense, some advice that can be given to the infertile couple are:
- Do not isolate yourself and continue leading a normal life, but avoiding at the same time exposing oneself to situations that produce pain or that continuously reflect that lack, such as avoiding spending the afternoon in a playground with the children of their friends.
- Talk to people who have gone through the same thing as themIt will help them to feel understood by someone who has already experienced this situation. In general, sharing perceptions and feelings with these people is much more comforting for those who suffer.
Text: Dra. Rosa Flores, DUE and Psychologist at the Ginefiv Clinic
You can read more articles similar to What not to say to a couple with fertility problems, in the category of On-site fertility problems.