When someone you care about is struggling with infertility, it’s hard to find the right words to let them know that you’re there for them. You want them to understand that you support them in anything they decide to do, but you don’t want to say the wrong thing and cause a problem. Knowing the proper steps to take to support your friend or family member struggling with infertility is important. Infertility can be a lonely “place” and having a support system can make the journey to becoming a parent easier. You can make your loved ones feel better about what they’re going through and let them know that they’ll always have someone to confide in when it comes to you. 

Learning how to support your friends & family struggling with infertility isn't easy. These tips will help you learn how to be supportive.

Be Kind and Understanding

Always be kind and understanding. If you don’t understand something specific, try not to offer an opinion you wouldn’t want to hear from someone else. Being kind can get you a long way. Understand that your loved one may have a bad day where they’re feeling hopeless because they’re trying desperately to conceive and aren’t having success. It’s naturally going to take a toll on their mental health, and you don’t want to say anything triggering that could get them upset. Try not to ask too many questions that could bring up negative feelings and cause your loved one to get more upset. Instead, let them come to you with the things they’d like to say about their infertility issues.

Lend an Ear When It’s Needed

Try to lend an ear when it’s needed. There are plenty of times when your loved one may need to vent to someone. If they feel like they have no one to listen to them, they’re going to keep those emotions bottled up inside. This can only lead to more hurt and frustration later in life. So, be the ear that your loved one needs. Let them talk to you about how they’re feeling and why they feel the way they do. Be sure to listen to what they have to say about the struggles they’re facing with infertility. When they’re confiding in you, make sure they know that you’re here for them. If they know they can talk to you, they’ll feel good about having someone in their corner who cares about what they’re going through.

Don’t Offer Unsolicited Advice

Try your best not to offer unsolicited advice. You may mean well, but the unwarranted advice could come off wrong. For example, family members of individuals with infertility issues tend to say things like, “Don’t stress! It will happen when it’s the right time.” No one wants to hear this. Some people try to tell their loved ones that they’re the reason they’re not getting pregnant because they keep stressing over trying to conceive. It would only cause your loved one to feel irritated and frustrated with you, and it could turn into an argument that you want to avoid. Only give advice when you think it’s essential. 

Related: Trying to Conceive After Experiencing a Miscarriage

Learning how to support your friends & family struggling with infertility isn't easy. These tips will help you learn how to be supportive.

Ask If They Need You to Help with Anything

Remember to ask your loved ones if they need your help with anything. They may want you to come along with them during a trip to the fertility treatment center for support. The small gestures matter the most. If you’re willing to be there for your family member or friend, it can put their mind at ease and make them feel better about the experiences they’re going through. Your loved one might need a ride to fertility treatments or to a therapist they’ve decided to reach out to amid everything going on. If you can help in any way, it’s worth it to go the extra mile. It’ll mean a lot to the person you love and can help them while they’re going through this challenging journey.

Be a support family member or friend to a loved one struggling with infertility. It’s a difficult time for them as they try to conceive and struggle to make it happen. Some of these people will need to go to fertility clinics to receive treatments to try to get pregnant, while others may never be able to have a child of their own. These are difficult situations to experience, so providing as much support as possible can mean a lot to someone special in your life. Whether it’s your sister, best friend, or someone else important to you, there are several ways to offer your support to let them know they’re not alone on this journey. Be present, lend an ear, and offer to help if you can do so.