If your friend is battling infertility, here’s how to be a source of support instead of stress

Battling infertility issues can be an emotional roller-coaster. If someone close to you is in the boat, here's how to support.
PCOS can cause infertility
PCOS can lead to fertility issues in women. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Kamna Chibber Published: 11 Dec 2022, 19:28 pm IST
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Childbirth is often an important milestone in the life of a woman. Many women harbour a long-standing dream of bearing and birthing children and tend to look forward to having fuller families with their partners. They envision bringing up children together and experiencing the joys associated with the process of doing so. For some women, the journey towards motherhood is not the easiest one.

They can have challenges in bearing a child on account of multiple biological factors (causes of delay in conceiving) that can pertain to either one or both of the partners. In such a scenario, the couple and particularly the women can experience significant challenges in maintaining their state of positivity and optimism and can find themselves being irritable, anxious, pensive, worried, unhappy and sad. Here’s where you must know how to support someone with infertility.

If someone is experiencing infertility, the fluctuations they may experience in their moods along with the mental state of going through the turbulence of feeling out of control of outcomes pertaining to their life, can impact overall feelings of goodness about their own life. As a result, maintaining productivity, engaging in daily chores or managing relationships can become difficult.

The person going through these challenges does need the support and understanding of those around them. So, you must be prudent about what you say to someone going through infertility.

Tips to support anyone going through infertility

1. Be willing to listen:

It’s important to provide the person going through this situation the space to be able to share knowing that they would be heard. Be careful and mindful of not getting restless or communicate that talking about the same thing would not be helpful to them.

2. Do not provide unsolicited advice

Give the person the comfort in knowing that you would not give them advice without them actively seeking it. Sometimes, a person might just want to share and would not be seeking solutions for what they are discussing.

dealing with infertility
Be there to listen to someone going through infertility! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Do not assume you know what dealing with infertility is like

The experience a person is having while dealing with infertility would be unique to them. Telling them that you know what it is like can make them feel you are being insensitive or demeaning of what they are going through.

4. Be encouraging

Remember as the person goes through the upheavals of being in such a situation they would need continual encouragement. This is important in ensuring they can maintain their efforts at working through the situations confronting them.

5. Don’t bring up discussions unless the person wants to engage

Constant conversations around the topic can be overwhelming. Allowing the person to choose when they would like to talk about and discuss things is important. This, especially, when it pertains to doctor visits and information regarding the status of the infertility processes and treatments.

Also read: 6 tips to avoid the negative emotional impact of infertility

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fertility problems
Infertility affects both partners. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Remind them you are there to share and discuss

You need to keep giving them reminders that you are there to support, help and provide aid and assistance when required. Being the right type of support system is crucial and when a person is going through a particularly distressing time such as challenges in fertility, knowing that they have people around them who are understanding can enable the smoother movement through these situations.

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About the Author

Kamna Chibber is the Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram ...Read More

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