12 Stupid Things People Actually Say to the Infertile

Dawn Davenport


12 Stupid Things People Say About Infertility

Sometimes you have to wonder about the basic humanity of some folks, to say nothing about their intelligence. Here are the top 12 stupid things people have actually said to those suffering from infertility, including what I wished I could have said in response. Honestly folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

1. “Are you sure you’re doing “it” right?” (Well gosh, maybe not—can you show me or share in graphic detail how you do it?)

2. “You’re over-stressing. When you least expect it—BAM, it’ll happen.” (Yeah, that’s how infertility is cured!)

3. “Maybe this is God’s way of saying you aren’t meant to be a parent.” (And what was God saying to all the parents who have abused and neglected their precious children?)

4. “You’ll get pregnant once you adopt.”– Said to a woman who had just shared that she had a hysterectomy and to another women who was 55 years old. (Perhaps a refresher in middle-school biology is in order.)

5. “Think of all the money you’re saving on birth control.” (Yeah, I’m feeling real lucky saving a few bucks on condoms while spending tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatment.)

6. “It’s time to just get over it and stop being sad.”– Said to a women who had a hysterectomy 3 days before Mothers Day by a family member who had four children. (I hear there is a sensitivity training course at the community college, and they’ve agreed to waive the fee for you.)

7. “You’re lucky you’re adopting so you don’t have to go through all this.” –Said by a husband complaining about his pregnant wife being emotional. (Yes, so true because adoption is an emotional walk in the park compared with pregnancy.)

8. “Aren’t you worried that the IVF drugs will give you cancer?” (Why yes, actually I am, as well as worried about how they will affect the child. Thanks for reminding me because I actually had forgotten to worry for the last 10 minutes.)

9. I don’t understand why you’d want to go through all the pain and expense of fertility treatment when there are so many older kids in foster care that need homes. (You’re right that those older kids need families, but I’m not necessarily the right parent, and I want to be pregnant and raise an infant from the beginning. By the way, have you considered adopting a few of those kids?)

10. “You don’t want this!”– Said by a very pregnant coworker point to her belly. (Oh yes, actually I do, and I sure as heck won’t complain about being eight months pregnant.)

11. “I think it’s weird and kind of gross to see moms in their 40s?” (Well, thanks for sharing.)

12. “Geez, I hope she can carry this one correctly. She didn’t manage to do it right the last time!” –Said to the teenaged adopted children of a woman with a surprise pregnancy that had lost twins at 22 weeks 7 years previously. (No problem, this time I read the “How to Carry a Baby Manual”, and by the way, thanks for making my children feel so special because teens can always use that. It brings out the best in them.)

So what comments have you heard that just makes you want to bang your head against a wall? Any good comebacks that you said or wished you had said?

First published in 2015; Updated in 2017.

19/06/2017 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog, Infertility Resources | 27 Comments

27 Responses to 12 Stupid Things People Actually Say to the Infertile

  1. Avatar casandra baker says:

    My cousin and I got into an argument once and she said “well at least I can have kids! I have 2!” I just stopped talking to her right then and didn’t speak to her for over a year.

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      That sounds so painful, @casandra. I’m so sorry. I hope you found your way back to each other somehow.

  2. Avatar Nylyma says:

    Gyno 1: it’s probably a good thing you can’t get pregnant.

    Gyno 2: it’d be a waste of money to even try. (This was at an appt discussing my medical history. Evidence that it wouldn’t be easy, but nothing said impossible)

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      I’m sorry – it sure sounds like both drs could have used some better bedside manners!

  3. Avatar Leanna says:

    I had been on fertility treatments for some time and finally had a response in medication. I had two good sized eggs ready for ovulation. I was ecstatic and told my mother in law the happy news. Unfortunately, I ended up with a pneumonia that cycle and was too sick to try. I was devastated.. my MIL then ignorantly says “well you definitely don’t want multiples anyway” I couldn’t even justify a response to her sheer stupidity.

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      I’m so sorry, Leanna. That must have been both frustrating (at not being understood) and devastating (at the lost opportunity). It’s hard to find words to respond to things said when others don’t understand. I hope you are doing well now and have recovered.

  4. Avatar Amelia Rose says:

    I recently was told by someone who is pregnant that you don’t always get what you want. I was thinking, thanks for the reminder!

  5. Avatar Someone says:

    When I opened up about my infertility to my friend, who is a doctor, she said “your pituitary gland doesn’t work because deep down you don’t want to be pregnant. It’s next to your mind, you know”.

  6. Avatar Dbrewer says:

    After I finished explaining to a friend/co-worker about the FET treatments I’m about to begin ( i currently do not have any children), another co-worker tells me I should be thankful I live in my state. Her sister pays a fortune in day care compared to what said co-worker pays for her children. She was trying to relate to the fortune my husband and I have spent on infertility treatments that I was just taking about.

  7. Avatar Jess says:

    My sister in law said “maybe you just need to go on a holiday” yeah thanks, I’m pretty sure a holiday isn’t going to unblock my fallopean tubes and cure my endometriosis

  8. Avatar Kwajalein D says:

    I was having a ‘bad’ day because at every turn I saw a pregnant woman – at the mall, the circus, my parent’s home. I made the comment that I had my share of pregnant women for the weekend. My cousin, who is pregnant, tells me, “well since you’ve had your share of pregnant women, IF you have a baby, I will not be buying you a gift”. I was so shocked, but decided not to stoop to her level of ignorance and even reply to it.

  9. Avatar Judy thomas says:

    When talking about your friends kids “your not a mother so you dont know how i feel.” …. Thanks for the reminder…

  10. Avatar Katie Gonzalez says:

    Thanks for the laugh. We are on our 8th adoption and I’m 45. People still say, “NOW you’re gonna get pregnant!!” Or if I mention feeling unwell, “now that you have all these kids you’re probably pregnant.” I actually now look at them in all seriousness and say, “that really isn’t funny. Not being able to get pregnant is not really funny to me.” I’m not mourning that as much anymore but I’m a lot less tactful at this stage of life and surely they’re gonna say that same stupid thing to someone who is in the midst of the struggle!!

  11. Avatar Callen D says:

    The dreaded Relax and stop trying and it will happen… my response is always I’m not stressed, because I’m not. I give it to God.

  12. Avatar Jen (In Due Time Book) says:

    This is why infertility education is crucial. People need to be informed, but in a kind manner in my humble opinion. It really comes down to ignorance, which I think we all have been guilty of at some time or another. In saying that, some comments are simply inexcusable. 🙂

  13. Avatar gatlynn matherne says:

    The women that say,..”All i have to do is sit next to my husband, and i get pregnant!”

  14. Avatar gatlynn matherne says:

    How about after you tell them how much you are struggling to conceive,…they say,..wow,all i have to do is look at my husband and i get pregnant!!….idiots!

  15. Avatar Joy Prentice says:

    love this – thanks for posting.

  16. Avatar Kelly Robinson says:

    My favorites are “Have you prayed about it?” “If you believed in God you could get pregnant no problem.” If people only knew how hard I prayed but you know what sometimes the answer is still no.

    • Avatar Sara says:

      Seriously this has been the comment that is driving me insane lately!! If they only knew…They would understand why some days it’s hard to even think about praying.

  17. Avatar Jennifer Larson says:

    How about go to the pharmacy and buy “Horny Goat Weed” it will help. lol…

  18. Avatar Crystal S. says:

    I think the site is great! It’s so funny to read these. I’ve been asked a few of them myself. One very pregnant woman told me one time on my way out of the the medical building (after a failed ovulation) that she didn’t understand why I was crying. She said that she’d give anything not to be pregnant. I said we’ll I’ll happily take that off your hands (laughing only 1/2 joking LOL).

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