8 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who’s Going Through IVF
These clueless comments can be downright hurtful.
Chrissy Teigen is shutting down the haters again. On the red carpet this weekend she was asked about having another baby with husband John Legend. She replied, “A little boy is next, for sure,” and later took to Twitter to clarify:
One Twitter user took it upon herself to criticize Teigen, who responded:
Teigen has been open about her infertility struggles, including the fact that she was able to choose the sex of her first child, Luna. But just because she’s a super honest celebrity is no excuse for rudeness. Let’s have a little refresher about what not to say to someone who’s going through in vitro fertilization (or has done it in the past):
Did you try it naturally first?
Nope, I thought I’d empty my bank account and turn myself into a pincushion for fun instead of bothering with yucky old sex!
Seriously: Anyone doing IVF has already gone down a long road of timed intercourse, cycle tracking, and less-intense fertility treatments (like Clomid and/or intrauterine insemination). In most cases, there is a very good medical reason why IVF is necessary for them to conceive. And let’s not forget about lesbian couples, for whom “trying it naturally” isn’t an option.
Are you going to end up with triplets?
So often the big headline-making fertility cases are the exceptions—Octomom, Kate Gosselin. But advances in fertility treatment have made multiple births much rarer. P.S. If your friend or acquaintance is worried about multiples, getting all nosy about the topic is not going to help her feel better.
Why don’t you just adopt?
Adoption is not a treatment for infertility. It’s another way of building a family—a wonderful one, but one that can be just as arduous and expensive as IVF. Some people need to mourn the possibility of having a biological child before they can even consider adoption; others may simply not want to go down that path at all. And by the way, infertile people are under no more obligation to adopt than anyone else.
I know someone who tried and tried with IVF and then she went on vacation and got pregnant naturally!
While stress can play a role in conception, relaxing or going to a spa are not cures for infertility (which is a medical condition). You would never tell someone with cancer to skip treatment and just go on vacation, would you?
Have you tried acupuncture/this crazy herb/eating yams/[fill in the blank]?
Are you a doctor who specializes in fertility? If not, keep your “treatment” suggestions to yourself.
Ugh, I could never do that.
Look, no one wants to give herself multiple injections a day for months on end, get a transvaginal ultrasound and blood test every morning, and have 5–25 eggs sucked out of her ovaries via a needle through the vagina. You do it because you have to, just like you would take your insulin injections if you had diabetes or get your chemo treatments if you had cancer. (Infertility is a medical condition, remember?)
How much does it cost?
A lot. A LOT lot. Like, some people ending up taking out second mortgages on their houses to pay for it. Even with excellent health insurance, the co-payments and prescription costs can run into the thousands. Without insurance, we’re talking five figures for a single cycle. Unless you’re close enough to the person to discuss your credit card debt in great detail, don’t even think about asking this question.
Maybe you weren’t meant to be a mom.
Come on. That’s just cruel.