Infertility affects nearly one out of eight women, so you’re bound to have a friend who struggles with this issue at some point. However, fertility is such a personal issue that it can be hard to know how to support people through it. Use these four ideas to support people you care about through this difficult time.
Be a Source of Emotional Support
Couples who are struggling with infertility are likely dealing with a lot of pain, stress and discomfort. If you have people in your life who are struggling to conceive, being there for them emotionally is one of the most helpful ways to show your support. Whether you’re a family member or a friend, simply letting people know that you’re there for them will mean a lot. You can offer to listen, accompany them to difficult appointments, or bring by meals.
Help Them Deal with Social Challenges
Part of the difficulty of dealing with infertility is in managing other people’s faulty attitudes. Couples who have yet to get pregnant often have to field invasive questions and unwanted advice. They may also feel pain when others around them get pregnant or complain about their pregnancies. In these scenarios, show your support by having your loved one’s back. Change the topic if they seem uncomfortable so that they don’t have to confront that person themselves. Refuse to gossip with others about the couple’s fertility situation.
Give Money to Related Organizations
You can also help with this issue in less direct ways. Fertility treatments are often expensive, and they may not be covered by insurance. There are several organizations, such as Pay It Forward Fertility, that help bridge the financial gap for those who need help conceiving but can’t afford the treatments on their own. Other organizations like RESOLVE provide community support for couples. They educate the public to make this issue less stigmatized and, in turn, less painful for women and men. Help these organizations make your friend’s life easier by donating whatever you can.
Donate Your Own Eggs
The last way to show support is by donating something much more valuable than money: your own eggs. Many couples use egg donations to make their families complete, and women who donate to fertility treatment centers, such as the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine facility, make this process possible. Donating eggs is a more involved process than donating sperm, which makes it a particularly great responsibility. Egg donations are the greatest gift of all: the chance for a healthy pregnancy. You can donate to a friend or to a complete stranger.
It may be tricky to show your support to people struggling with fertility, but it’s much trickier to actually be going through it. Every person is different, so keep these tips in mind and tailor them to your loved one’s particular needs. Your friend will thank you for it!