Effectively Supporting Couples Who Are Struggling To Conceive

When a couple starts thinking about having a child, they set themselves on the path for new and exciting times. They always hope for great times and young families living a happy life. However, it is not always rosy. Not all of us have the same luck when it comes to conceiving.

You can easily assume that having a child is an easy feat, far from that. You may not realize this until you decide that it is time for you to add a new member to your family. One negative pregnancy test after another, and you start asking questions. You may question your ability to conceive or even challenge your partner’s fertility.

A few years into your marriage, you may have to put up with stigma from some friends and relatives. You may even develop anxiety disorders the more you think about the inability to have children. You can try many things; you could change your diet, track your ovulation cycle, schedule when to have sex, and try different medications and supplements with no success.

If you have not had these problems yourself, try to imagine having a close friend or relative going through such a predicament. You may feel compelled to help. However, many of us do not know how to help couples struggling with conception. Some of the actions we take out of goodwill end up doing more harm than we intended.

With about an eighth of all couples struggling with fertility and experiencing trouble conceiving, you will at some point most likely have to step in and support someone you personally know. Knowing how to help can make a world of difference. In this article, we look at the different ways you can help a couple struggling to conceive.

1. Know Your Place

We all want to help out of goodwill. However, you are far from a fertility specialist, so you may not know the best option for a struggling couple. Scouring the internet for bits of information and recommending various treatments to the couple may not help. You could innocently advise them to get professional surrogacy services from IARC Surrogacy – Expert Surrogacy Services – From the Heart; while it presents a viable solution for most couples, it may not be what they want to explore at the time. Instead of helping, the solutions you offer will only leave them with more to deal with, which may harm their relationship.

You need to offer your support while letting the couple stay in control of their situation. Instead of giving different pieces of information, let the couple come to you. You do not have to pry into their personal affairs to offer your support. Make them understand that they can always turn to you, but you understand that it is personal.

Couples struggling to conceive often have a hard time staying in control of the situation. Always ask how you can chip in and give them control. If they ask you to keep off, do precisely that but let them know that they can always reach out to you when they need your help.

2. Do Not Play Down The Extent Of The Problem

Unless you have dealt with it, you cannot understand how difficult it is for someone struggling to conceive. Even if you have, different people have different ways of dealing with things, and their options may not be as smooth as what you went through. Maybe you have no interest in having your children, so you may see it as an opportunity to travel more, stay out till late, grow your career without having to worry about raising a family, or put up with the stress of saving for your child’s college.

It may be a lifelong dream for the struggling couple, and being unable to make it a reality can be pretty stressful and depressing. Failing to acknowledge the magnitude of their problem makes them feel like you are minimizing the problem. As a result, they may not open up to you the next time they need someone to talk to. If you have no idea what to say to them, always ask how you can help. Accepting that it is not much you can do to improve their situation is better than dismissing their struggle as a minor problem.

3. Learn More About Their Situation

We can all agree that advising someone on something you do not understand comes with many challenges. You could end up giving the wrong piece of information or recommending something that does not work. The same applies if you want to help a couple struggling to have a child. Create time to read about infertility and other issues that may make it hard for the couple to have a child. The hunger for information does not mean that you have to give advice. It allows you to offer your support from a more educated and understanding standpoint.

Another reason you should read more about their problem is to not get misguided by common misconceptions. Couples having trouble conceiving often hear a lot of myths. They have put their trust in you and look upon you to help them navigate through these challenging times. You should be the last person to repeat myths and spreading misinformation.

4. Accept And Support Their Decisions

After trying to conceive for some time with no success, a couple may opt for various therapies, lifestyle changes, and fertility treatments. Deciding to seek fertility treatments is not an easy decision for many couples. Such treatments come with ethical implications that need a lot of prayer, research, and consultation before making a decision.

A couple may decide to try a treatment you consider unethical. It helps to keep your opinions and thoughts to yourself. They may have gone through lots of battles you have no idea about to come to that decision. Instead of telling them what you think about their choices, offer genuine support and encouragement. Tell them how happy you are that they can afford the treatment and hope that the treatment results in the pregnancy they so much want.

Apart from the ethical dilemma some treatments and therapies need, they also have a substantial financial burden. If they ask for your financial assistance, do not hesitate to help out if you are in a position to do it. Treat them to a dinner out or get them a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant.

5. Find Sensitive Ways To Include Them

A couple struggling to have a child can have a hard time fitting in. Some events and announcements become difficult for them. They will probably feel uncomfortable attending baby showers, christenings, birthday parties for other children, or even reading a pregnancy announcement card from a close friend or relative. While they may be happy for you, they may feel unlucky given the predicament they find themselves in. Usually, you may feel tempted not to tell them out of the fear of upsetting them. You may also feel compelled to let them, so they do not feel stigmatized.

Finding the right way to inform them and giving them time to process the news before the event itself or seeing the news on social media will allow them the time and space to process it privately. If they choose not to attend an event, take no offense and understand their position.

6. Take Part In Advocacy

Another great way to support a couple having trouble conceiving is getting involved in advocacy. Many advocacy efforts come from people affected directly by an issue or a loved one who knows someone dealing with the same problem. You can become a fertility advocate by attending or providing financial support to some of the events and efforts. If you cannot participate in an advocacy day, write a letter that a friend or family member can deliver when attending.

If you live in an area where the government tries to pass laws that negatively affect those with infertility issues or couples considering adoption and surrogacy, speak out and show your support. Also, participate in the Infertility Awareness Week, which comes every last week of April. Speak up if you come across people, articles, blogs, or news stories spreading misinformation or myths about conception problems and fertility treatments.

You can support a couple having trouble conceiving through different ways. Knowing and understanding boundaries is vital. Also, avoid minimizing the problem as you do not know what they have to go through. Taking time to learn about their situation makes it easy for you to offer support and avoid spreading misinformation. Whenever a struggling couple reaches a decision, accept it and support them without giving your opinions or alternatives. Also, find sensitive ways to include them and participate in advocacy campaigns.

You are human, and you can say something hurtful only to realize later after seeing their reaction or uncomfortable silence. If you find yourself in such a position, quickly apologize and indicate that you do not always know what’s best to say during such times, so you may end up saying the wrong thing. Imperfect support draws more appreciation than showing no support at all, so be there for your friends and loved ones and learn from your mistakes. 

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