Family Gathering and Infertility stress

For many Canadians this is the time of year to see close family and friends and remark on the the year that has passed and events occurring in your life. This can also bring up often difficult questions or awkward moments when dealing with family opinions and pressures. This can be particularly difficult for those who are trying to conceive and are facing fertility issues.

Coping with Intrusive Questions and Pressures

Over the holidays family members can often overstep their boundaries on many matters, including the subject of children. For those who are privately or publicly struggling to conceive it can mean being put into awkward situations.

When dealing with infertility it is really up to the individual on how much they want to share with their friends and family, however keeping important information from loved ones can cause stress and anxiety. Confiding in those you trust can help ease that stress and result in a greater support network. If you are uncomfortable sharing such personal matters with loved ones there is no reason to feel you have too, but understand that family, particularly close family, may be upset to not have been made a part of your struggles.

  • Set your boundaries, let people know what you are and aren’t comfortable discussing this will help ease tension not only for you but also for family members.

  • Be patient with family, people are curious and will cross lines when asking questions and providing advice, but you always have the option of simply saying, “I would really rather not discuss this right now”.

  • Be prepared for difficult question when having a conversation about fertility difficulties.  

Providing Support for those who are struggling to conceive

On the flip side of things if you know a loved one is trying to conceive there are things you should be aware of before openly discussing it.  

  • Avoid intrusive questions, fertility can be a touchy subject and couples struggling to conceive often prefer to have some things remain private.

  • Refrain from offering unsolicited advice especially if you haven’t experienced fertility difficulties, they will ask if they are looking for your opinion.

  • Support them without judgement, be available to them when they do want to talk and are looking for love and support, but don’t feel that you need to “solve” their problems. Just listen.  

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