When you are ready to tell others about your infertility struggles, you may be wondering how you are going to break the news. Hiding infertility struggles can make you feel ashamed and alone, but breaking your silence can open new doors for support. Although empowering, it can also be a nervewracking task and the outcomes may not go as planned.
Consider Your Partner
If you have a partner who is facing the struggles of infertility with you, be sure to consider whether or not they are ready to break the news to their loved ones. Have a conversation about why you are ready to let others know, but listen to the reasons why they may be concerned or fearful. Perhaps you can agree on a handful of people to tell, or limit the information you provide.
Choose the Right Time and Place
It can be hard to get family all together, but the announcement regarding your infertility may not need to occur on Thanksgiving. Much of it will depend on your family dynamic; your mom may be upset that she found out at the same time as your cousin. Be prepared for questions and comments that may arise. Inform your loved ones in a place that feels comfortable and safe, and make sure there is time for thoughtful conversation.
Prepare to Hear All the Wrong Things
After opening up about your struggles with fertility, it is very likely that at least one person will say something that comes off as insensitive. People often make these comments because they don’t know what to say in the moment. They are trying to help minimize your pain, but it can feel as if they are dismissing it. More likely than not, they didn’t mean it to come off as insensitive. It may be helpful to educate your friends and family on what not to do or say when it comes to your infertility.
You Don’t Have to Share It All
When you share your infertility, be prepared for the influx of personal questions, like “Whose fault is it?” Know that you do not have to answer any questions that you are not comfortable with and you do not have to share any details you don’t want to. Rather, respond by saying something along the lines of, “I’d rather not get into all the details, but I really appreciate your support.”
Let Help In
One of the best responses a family member or friend can provide is “How can I help?” Before telling your loves ones about your infertility, consider the ways in which you might answer this question. Maybe you need help with the kids when you have appointments, or maybe you just need someone to talk to. If they offer their help, let them know what you need.
The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.