Despite your best intentions, there are some things you just shouldn't say to someone struggling with infertility.

Updated February 24, 2021

If you have a friend or family member who’s struggling to get pregnant, your instinct may be to comfort her by telling her not to stress, and that eventually, it will all work out.

But while you mean well, this kind of advice might make your loved one feel worse. She knows very well it may not work out in the end. And a “don’t worry” directive can feel insensitive and glib.

The kindest thing you can do is offer her a listening ear, and allow her to share (or not share) as much as she chooses.

You can find useful information in Zahie El Kouri's book, Don’t Tell Her to Relax ($10,, or you can check out this video to learn how to be more sensitive to your friend's needs.

Don't have time to watch? Here's what not to say to a woman who’s dealing with infertility:

Have you tried: Eating pineapple? Propping your hips up after sex? Drinking cough syrup? Taking herbs? Getting him to switch to boxers?

Chances are, she’s already heard and tried it all.

Maybe you need to gain/lose weight.

Your friend’s weight (and how it affects or doesn’t affect her fertility) is between her and her doctor.

Why don’t you just adopt?

Adoption isn’t a replacement for having biological children. It’s a different path to building a family.

Maybe you’re not meant to be a parent.

Come on. That’s just cruel.

Instead, let your friend know that you care.

Ask what she needs. And how you can be supportive. And then, do that. Enough said.