The most important people to talk with about your infertility
You don't live in a vacuum. In addition to all the other challenges of infertility, you’re tasked with managing all of your normal relationships. There are internal questions to help you decide what you want to communicate and stay one step ahead of these conversations as they arise. The most important people to talk discuss your infertility with, are yourself and your partner.
Four questions to ask yourself
There is no right or wrong answer regarding who you talk to about your difficulty trying to get pregnant, or how much or how little you share. It's a deeply personal decision, made by yourself and your partner. In deciding whether or not you would like to talk about your infertility with others, you may find clarity in asking yourself these four questions.
- Why? It may be difficult to answer the rest of these questions without first answering this one. Why is it important to you that you’re able to have this conversation with the people you love? Maybe it’s because you want to keep relatives abreast of what’s going on in your life. Maybe it’s because you want others to feel comfortable talking about their journey. It might simply be that people’s comments and questions hurt when they don’t know about your situation or infertility in general.
- Who? Whom do you want to know what you’re going through? Some people tell everyone in their people within their social circles and others tell no one. Like all important information, there are different levels of clearance, and not everyone gets the same access.
- What? How much information do you want people to know? Do you want them to know about infertility in general? Do you want to tell them about the treatment you’re going through? Do you simply want them to know how you feel and how they can help (and hurt)?
- When? Would you prefer to talk to someone when you first start having difficulty, when you receive a diagnosis, after you’ve undergone treatment, or never?
You come first
Only you and your partner can decide on these parameters, and the good news is that there is no wrong decision as long as it is true to you. It gets better still, you're not alone. There are resources to help you unpack your thought process. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, has a Telling Family and Friends page that can help you break down these questions; it even includes sample responses to some of the most common (and annoying) comments you receive from people you know. RESOLVE also has online infertility support communities and five peer support groups and four professionally led support groups here in the Bay Area that meet monthly.
If you'd really like to feel empowered in how to respond to your loved ones and acquaintances when they ask you about your family building process, download our free mini e-book, "How to Talk to Your Friends and Family About Infertility" by clicking the button below.