I was asked this question by a first time support group attending husband this week’s support group.
My first question back to him was “Why do you want to tell them?”
Unless you have family members who have been through infertility, my advice is to find a support group to talk about it first.
Having a network of other people who have actually gone through the complex roller coaster of emotions with infertility, and understand all the acronyms and ART jargon can be an incredibly nurturing experience.
Most people go the other direction though: confiding in family members who have never gone through infertility only to find their platitudes and advice are not only unhelpful, but are often emotionally destructive.
They often show up at the first support group guarded at first, until they realize that they won’t be flinching from the pain of some insensitive comment and most certainly won’t hear the words ‘you just need to relax’ out of the mouths of anyone in the room.
The truth is there is just too much ignorance out there about infertility to safely share your journey with someone who hasn’t gone through it.
I hope that with the growing library of books and blogs on this topic that will change, and all the celebrities who keep coming out and talking about it will continue to raise awareness and ultimately generate some educated empathy guidelines. But until that empathy transforms into new social graces when it comes to how to speak to someone going through infertility, I’d say beware of telling fertile friends and families your infertility woes.
Online support groups or Resolve support groups are without a doubt the most helpful and safe way to share your infertility journey.