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Thursday, 19 July 2018 04:54

What You Should *Never* Say to a Friend Struggling With Infertility

Instead of unsolicited advice and miracle stories, ask how you can support them.

By Ashley Abramson 

Infertility, defined as the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after a year of trying, affects one in eight couples, according to RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. That’s 7.4 million women who have received infertility services in their lifetime. And yet, despite its prevalence, the experience of infertility commonly leaves women feeling misunderstood, isolated, and exhausted. Barb Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE, says that in addition to offering resources and advocacy for people as they navigate the ups and downs of infertility, the organization also aims to equip family and friends of those facing infertility with practical ways to support their loved ones, including how to talk about infertility — and how not to.

“Instead of making comments on where someone is in their infertility journey or what they’ve decided to do, ask ‘how can I support you?” she advises. Especially harmful, she adds, are well-meaning attempts to “solve” a person’s infertility by making unsolicited suggestions of how to handle it.

“While other people’s success stories might sound great, they can actually be really hurtful. Infertility is so personal, and there are so many different variables.”

Medical experts cite a number of underlying causes for infertility, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary failure or other ovulatory disorders, or menstrual cycle defects. In 30 percent of cases, infertility is related to a male issue, but we tend to think of it as a women’s problem — and one that can feel incredibly discouraging.

Depending on the medical issue involved, some women are able to conceive after implementing simple lifestyle changes like weight loss or taking inexpensive medications like Clomid, a hormone treatment that supports the body in producing higher-quality eggs. For other women, the process of growing a family is more arduous, resulting in more costly, time-consuming treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or even surrogacy or adoption.

But no matter the root cause or course of treatment, infertility can be a major stressor on women and their partners. Financial stressors and insurance issues, relational tension, and physical side effects of treatments — coupled with the emotional strain of uncertainty — make infertility an all-consuming process.

Brianne L., 33, who has been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half, says she’s been open with loved ones about her struggle with infertility, which has been helpful in preventing isolation. But, to Collura’s point, her openness has also come at an emotional cost.

“Sharing your journey opens you up to people’s opinions or unsolicited advice, or stories about their friend or cousin or mom who stopped trying and immediately got pregnant, or changed jobs and got pregnant, or after adopting got pregnant,” she tells Brit + Co. “I have stories like that too, but it doesn’t mean that’s how my story will end.”

Well-intentioned loved ones have gone so far as to suggest adoption to Brianne. “That suggestion hurt for a lot of reasons, but mostly because as an adoptee myself, I’ve always dreamed of having a family who looks like me, who I can see myself in, who I know will love and accept because they are mine without complication or reason to doubt,” she says. “Starting the adoption process feels like giving up hope. We aren’t there yet, and that’s something my husband and I will decide together, so please don’t ever suggest to someone that they ‘should just adopt.’”

Infertility, and the pain that comes with it, looks different for every individual. After having two sons, Kelli Ghenov, 34, is facing secondary infertility, or the inability to conceive after previously having a baby. Though they’ve been aware of the issue for three years, Ghenov and her husband have decided IVF isn’t an option for their family, so she’s hopeful surgery on her fallopian tube will increase the likelihood of conception.

Throughout her journey, Ghenov has been surprised by how many people suggested she just “stop stressing and trying” for a period of time, and “it just might happen.”

“The choices involved with infertility are highly difficult, personal decisions and even the slightest disapproval can be wounding and shaming,” Ghenov says. “Instead of sharing your opinion on the chances or financial impact of different options, listen as we process our loss, emotions, and options. Acknowledge and grieve the disappointments. And celebrate the hopeful moments with us.”

Learn more about international surrogacy:
Delivering Dreams helps couples throughout the US struggling with infertility have children. Located in NJ and Kyiv, Ukraine, our amazing medical facilities and professionals, surrogates and donors are in Ukraine, because Ukrainian law protects the rights of parents and their children from inception at affordable costs and high success rates.

Unique to Delivering Dreams, we offer guaranteed not to exceed, all-inclusive pricing and contracts under US law to provide prospective parents legal and financial security.

1 in 6 couples are struggling with infertility. You are not alone. We want to be your path to parenthood.

Would you like to learn more? Please contact us to share your challenges, ask questions and discuss solutions. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and, 1.908.386.3864

International surrogacy made simple!

Our upcoming book, “Successful Surrogacy: Your Guide to Realizing Your Dreams of Parenthood Through Ukrainian Surrogacy” reveals the process, details and answers to empower you to start your Ukrainian Surrogacy Journey and ensure it will be an affordable, secure and happy experience.

Pre-Order your advance copy today! Our book is FREE, but the results will be PRICELESS!


Read 894 times


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A and S
The communication with surrogate is easy and better than what we expected. The updates are provided as scheduled with occasional surprises
The support was great. It was easy on us that the coordination was done by the delivering dreams team while being completely transparent with us on the progress. The communication with the delivering dreams team was always fast, responsive, and easy.
E and K
Thank you kate. You have been great today and all the other days ❤ you are a great team. We are very satisfied and happy for your help.
We were confident before in our choice, but this experience has confirmed beyond any doubt that we choose the best agency.
I loved working with Susan and her team and highly recommend them to anyone considering her services. She's is great at every aspect of a process and knows how to handle delicate matters.
Diana Lyakhovetska
Susan truly understands the needs of parents using surrogacy, and offers comprehensive emotional support to parents as they experience the journey!
Christine Hughes Pontier
The team at Delivering Dreams is amazing! Their attention to detail and ability to put your mind at ease while growing your family is like none other. They handled everything for us, and I never once doubted they would help us accomplish our dreams.
Margaret Jones
I’ve known Susan for several years now, and I’ve always been impressed by her attention to her clients’ needs. I’ve known her to work ardently and diligently to solve whatever challenges, no matter how unique, that prevent her clients from completing their families. She is a problem-solver, and she earnestly believes in providing the best options and in making surrogacy opportunities realities: this is not merely a business for Susan. She will help customize the process for your needs and to ...
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Mary Woods
Susan has a keen sense of business and goes to the max to solve her clients’ problems. She is super knowledgeable on business, laws and how things work in surrogacy in general, and specifically on Ukrainian surrogacy. She is an advocate for transparency in a market that’s often opaque and full of hidden risks. I really enjoyed working with Susan. She really pays attention to detail and was always looking out for my best interest above all. Highly recommend!
Laurie Tham
Delivering Dreams goes above and beyond what other surrogacy agencies offer. After speaking with Susan, I see how they anticipate every part of the process, down to details that I had never even considered. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Surrogacy can be really complicated and confusing. What an amazing sense of relief to have a company so dedicated to managing the WHOLE process and taking away as much of the stress as possible.
Kate Varness
I have gotten to know Susan through a group where we are members. I have found her to be a genuine and caring person. Her consideration for others and love of her work with Ukrainian surrogates and parents-to-be are evident in all her decision making. She is passionate about being a force for the greater good and helping where she can. I have been amazed at the way she is able to smoothly navigate the complicated maze of requirements in the surrogacy process. I am happy to give her my highest...
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Rose Anne Barbour Huck
Susan Kibler is kind.  She clearly loves those she works with and loves what she does.  Susan listens deeply and compassionately and can make you laugh all in the space of one conversation.  She is wonderful!  If you are feeling worried, she'll hear you.  If you have questions, she will find answers for you. If you need help, she does her very best to support you.  I feel so fortunate to have found her and imagine you will too.
Frances Russell
Susan has the ability to really connect on a personal level quickly.  I have found her easy to talk to and have been so grateful for her guidance.  She is one of those people who offers so much to her clients.  She sees the big picture and has a heart for the most intimate concerns.  She is highly skilled and able to manage what can certainly be challenging and uncomfortable experiences, making them feel easier.  She will take charge at the perfect times and guide you when you really need her...
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Susan Seare
The international surrogacy world is complicated. Susan Kibler knows its ins-and-outs. She knows the people and outfits you can trust and the ones to avoid. She insists on the best for her clients and handles the details so they don't have to worry about them. If you want to take the international surrogacy journey, you can trust Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency to guide you on that path.
Nancy Linnerooth
My friend and I had a positive experience working with Susan. Susan is always super responsive and caring. She is very professional, helpful and reliable. My friend has soo much troubles trying having a baby for many years. My friend and her husband were about to give up their dream of having a baby. Susan Kersch Kibler found the way to help. She has unlimited energy, attentive to detail and super efficient. Great to work with!
Polina Clend
Susan is passionate about helping people become families. She is a trustworthy confidant to have on your side.
Kristen Ancker
Our experience with Delivering Dreams has been overwhelmingly positive. The team seems to be genuinely dedicated to helping us to realize our dream of having a child. The constant communication leading up to the trip and the numerous touch points made us feel comforted in what has been a very challenging and uncomfortable situation. We always had streamlined communication through the group chat and was frequently checked on during our stay.

Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.


Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.