Below is an adapted list from Resolve about the myths of infertilty. I worry about posting this because I don't want to hurt your feelings if you are guilty of ever saying these things. Heck, I probably said some of them before our infertility journey started. How will you know if some doesn't educate you? Please, never say these things to someone struggling with trying to conceive.Whether it has been 1 year or 8, words that are meant to help only come across as hurt.

- Infertility is a women's problem.
- Must be something in the water!
- It's all in your head! Why don't you relax or take a vacation. Then you'll get pregnant!
- Don't worry so much -- it just takes time. You'll get pregnant if you're just patient.
- If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant!
- Why don't you just forget it and adopt? After all, there are so many babies out there who need homes!
- Maybe you two are doing something wrong!
- Are you afraid your partner might leave you because of your infertility?
- Perhaps this is God's way of telling you that you two aren't meant to be parents!
- Infertility is nature's way of controlling population.

The worst statement to me personally, however, is this: Oh I understand exactly what you are feeling. *Insert ludicrous story about waiting 4 months to get pregnant here.*

Please please please if you are not infertile, never ever tell an infertile you understand. You don't. You may have had major loss in your life, but until you have walked a mile (or 20) in our shoes, you have no idea what it feels like. And honestly, we could all write a book just trying to put into words that which cannot be put into words. I am not trying to discount anyone else's pain. I am simply saying that infertility, in all it's various shapes and sizes, is a pain all it's own.

Although infertility is never truly gone from someone there are three ways people move on in their life.

1. They do get pregnant.
2. They adopt.
3. They live child free.

The infertility road is unique to each couple; do not assume you know what is best for them. That is best left up to the only One who knows the plan for their life.

I hope you feel more educated and not offended by this post. My friend Grace posted a while ago on this topic, and she may have a little more tact in explaining that me.


  1. heather, this is so great...i'm so glad you wrote this! you might feel like you're being offensive, but you know what? you're just being honest. and how is anyone ever going to get a glimpse of this pain unless we're honest?
    those myths drive me BANANAS. especially the "if you adopt, you'll get pregnant!" LUDICROUS.
    sorry, just had to vent. ;)
    thanks for the shout-out!

  2. I can still feel the pain of having people not understand. Even my own beloved mother's response hurt deeply, "well honey, you can always adopt!"

    There's still something to grieve, no matter what happens or how you decide to deal with it. You're right, it's a pain all its own, nothing is quite like it.

    Praying that God blesses you though this trial.

  3. Nicely said Heather!! I can think of one friend that stands out in the mix that truly tried to get it. She was a very fertile myrtle but said the sweetest words and tried her hardest to put myself in my shoes. She based it on her strong desire just have kids. It meant so much to me!!
    I'm praying as you make your way through this journey, Heather!! Hugs!

  4. All I can say is that I agree!

    ICLW #26

  5. Great post!!

    I had an incident earlier this month where someone who just didn't get it made me feel horrible. They felt I had no right to grieve something that I never had.

    Good luck with your journey.
    ICLW #93

  6. As someone who did "just adopt" I have to say I HAAAAATE when people tell others they should just adopt! And the "adopt and you'll get pregnant!" line? Um, they're my children, not my fertility treatments. They ARE my happy ending, not a means to a happy ending. Urg. I think the worst part is when people find we adopted after infertility, without doing treatments, and they all suddenly feel comfortable to start ragging on their friends/cousins/sisters/nieces, etc about how they're going through IVF and why are they spending so much money when there are soooo many children in need of a good home? (I've had this conversation several times, always with women who very easily conceived all of their children).

    And that nature's way of controlling population... uh, no. Nope, sorry, does not compute.

    Nice list, and don't feel bad about posting it. I myself, pre-TTC, said a few similar things I'm sure and so I typically try the "soft and educational" style of combating ignorance, and that pretty much looks like what you're doing here. Infertility is awful, frustrating, demeaning and painful, and it is in itself horrid enough that we really don't need to deal with these comments on top of it!

  7. You are too cute! I love the personality in your post and in your Post a Comment. It made me giggle! Your list is not offensive at all. I think it is tough to get support from people that have never been through IF! That is the absolute beauty of forums, blogs, etc... we get to connect to a world of people that do understand and are wonderful at providing support!

  8. this is a great post, I totally agree!

    ICLW #136

  9. We are in the same wave-length! Read my latest...

  10. Great post Heather...people say so many horrible things without even meaning to.

    ICLW #14

  11. Your list does not offend ... I can see how I can relate on one level, but am clueless on another. I spent 5 years as a childless mother ... I had three children and lost 2 to prematurity and our third to stillbirth. So although egg and sperm made a connection, it did not result in that happy homecoming. And although the childlessness is shared, our journeys have been quite different. What I do know is that I'm grateful people like you are willing to educate others ... keep sharing the truth in love!

    As a side note, I wrote a series on my blog about "barren" women of the Bible ... share your thoughts!

  12. Thanks for posting this! I agree that people who haven't gone through IF just don't understand, and sometimes the best meaning comments are the ones that hurt the most.

    Happy ICLW!

  13. Stopping by from ICLW! Yep, heard a few of them before and it hurts being told those things because it's almost like someone is trivialising our pain. My MIL is ALWAYS telling me if we stop thinking about it or adopt we'll get pregnant because she knew someone who tried for years and then adopted and had 3 boys in quick succession afterwards! I think after 3 years and 3 IVF cycles, not thinking about it or adopting is not going to FIX my infertility. Great post :-)


  14. Stopping by for ICLW...
    Like Sharee, our experiences are different. My daughter was stillborn in April and my doctors recommended we not get pregnant again. We are in the process of starting domestic adoption. We've had several of those same adoption and pregnancy comments. "Oh you'll get pregnant now for sure!" That drives me crazy because for me getting pregnant isn't the issue, it's keeping the pregnancy and not dying myself. Loss has taught me to keep my mouth shut and not ask those seemingly innocent questions. You never know what's going on in someone's life and even though it SEEMS innocent, it can sometimes really, really hurt.

  15. I like the post!I can't tell you how many times I was told to relax!



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