With 6.7 million women in the United States being infertile, infertility seems insanely common.
And with the trend of society becoming more and more open about topics that used to be quite hushed, the topic of infertility creeps into a surprising number of conversations. This is a good thing. The more educated we are about everything, the easier it is to deal with the challenges of life.
It reminds me of a statement I’ve heard my father say many times: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” So it seems pretty obvious that if we hope to move forward in the creation of our families, we need to become educated. However, are there times when a discussion of infertility might not be the best conversation to have? Sure there are. Here are a couple of examples:
A couple is preparing for marriage or are newlyweds. Gosh. There are plenty of other things that distress engaged and newly married couples, so why would we ever think of introducing the topic of infertility? Yet it’s happened. I know. Besides the fact that it’s really none of our business when the new couple has children, planting doubts and concerns into their minds isn’t a very kind thing to do. Even when it’s done with the hope of preparing them for hardship. Just don’t do it.
A group of pregnant women are together. Many of us reading this article knows what it feels like to be the only one not pregnant in our group of friends. It’s painful, and it’s really hard to overlook the obvious. They’re all talking about baby names and painting nurseries and we feel invisible and completely alone. But opening a discussion about our infertility will be a real downer to their happy conversation. Better to excuse ourselves and silently brood (although brooding isn’t recommended).
You’re with a birth mother. Clearly, the birth mother is not infertile. Bringing up your own infertility will magnify her obvious fertility and can bring on increased feelings of guilt. Better to focus on commonality.
There’s a time and a place to have discussions about infertility. I’ve greatly benefitted from conversations I’ve had with others who can relate to the feelings I’ve had when struggling through that dreaded health issue. If we take a moment to focus on who we’re with and assess the situation, we’ll know for sure if the time is good for talking about infertility.