Oct 08

Infertility is the invisible ailment. No one talks about it and no one knows how to respond to it.

You typically get the “Just relax and it will happen” useless response, the “I feel so bad for you” pity response or the “I don’t know what to say and I’m uncomfortable” reaction. These types of people typically wait for you to bring up the subject although you know they are dying to say something. You can see it in their eyes. Should I ask her? Should I wait for her to say something? And when you do bring up the subject, you can see pity in their eyes, and they try to offer you fertility advice or tell you success stories of someone else they know. So and so tried this product and she got pregnant. I heard this fertility book was really good? They try to be helpful but you kind of wish they were better listeners than talkers.

And of course, you have the “Infertility gossiper” who tells you to ‘just relax and it will happen’ and you will definitely ‘be next.’ She treats your news like a good piece of gossip asking questions, giving useless advice and thinks that Clomid is a new type of chocolate bar. Well guess what? We relaxed and it didn’t happen!

But don’t feel sorry for us! We are obviously incredibly happy and stable women, who are clearly not depressed, upset or irrational about our situation at all. Clearly.


26 Responses to “#878 The "Just relax and it will happen" response”

  1. Another Dreamer says:

    Clearly, yes.

    When someone calls me with useless advice, I typically practice the quick hang-up, "Oh, sorry, I gotta go make dinner now. Bye." Is that bad? Naw. Not as bad as their advice, at least.

  2. Cherish says:

    The worst was when someone told me they struggled to get pregnant for 7 years and then got pregnant with each of their 3 kids on vacation, so I should go on vacation. Are you kidding me? You dealt with infertility for 7 years and that's the best advice you have?

    I haven't emailed them back since.

  3. Kait says:

    I love the pictures you post. That is exactly how I feel when I get that comment. Exactly. Oh this journey, how sprinkled with unhelpful people you are.

    Kait @ esperanzasays.wordpress.com

  4. Goodyear Family says:

    My grandmother tried giving me that advice. When I found out I wasn't ovulating, I called her up almost gloating that I had a real medical reason and that it wasn't just the relaxing part that we needed help with. Actual conversation "Guess what Grandma! I'm going to be an aunt. But what's even better, I ovulated this month! And since I haven't been ovulating, that's great news!" Show you 'just relax'….

  5. Jendometriosis says:

    Cherish…I agree…some women seem to get amnesia about infertility once they finally get pregnant!

    Thankfully many don't and there's is the only advice I listen too…and the only women I don't hate for having kids.

  6. jenicini says:

    I swear the next time someone says that to me I'm going to reply, "It's hard to relax with a speculum's involved." I think it will stump them into silence.

  7. egghunt says:

    Love the picture for this post. It is PERRRRFECT. I have been trying to figure out a good snarky response to the "just relax" statement and I like Jenicini's idea a lot! Any more ideas?

  8. Wait, What? says:

    The 'just relax' advice is the worst!!!

  9. T Lee says:

    Ok, so, I've only recently found your blog- and I adore it. Thanks for helping me laugh at myself (and my situation).

  10. Rebecca says:

    I know people are trying to be helpful when they tell you all about the other people they know who struggled but seriously, it DOESN'T HELP!

    And, LOL for Clomid being a new chocolate bar. If only it made me feel good like chocolate! :)Maybe someone should talk to the manufacturers about putting it into chocolate form…

  11. Katie says:

    The picture says it all. That's exactly how I want to react when people tell me to "just relax."

  12. Meg says:

    I'm with all of you!! I got the "just relax" response a LOT. That one is the worst. I was actually almost happy when the HSG showed I had one blocked tube and the blood work came back that I have a blood clotting disorder making it hard to get and stay pregnant. At least there was a reason!!

    I love this blog. I dealt with infertility for almost 2 years before an RE helped us get pregnant. Everything you say is SO true. I hope you get your baby soon!

  13. Lindsay says:

    Hahaha, I LOVE this post. In addition to "Just Relax", I get a lot of "well at least your so young" (I'm 27). Equally as infuriating and offesive. Usually when someone says either of those things to me, that is the last conversation about IF I will have with them.

  14. finding_ac says:

    ha ha, relax. That one just pissed me off like none other. How did all those meth and crack moms get pregnant then, cause we know they arent relaxing. i would like to see some medical evidence to back that up…the only way i can see that you should relax is if you are trying to "give it up to God"!

    oh and Lindsay says it all…my doc tried to say that to me some time ago, and i said to him "uh my husband is almost 30" and then he changed the subject.

    ♥ ac

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Do some yoga!"
    "Have you tried accupuncture?"
    "Meditation works!"
    "You know what you need to do? (Insert insane suggestion here)."

    I smile sweetly and say, "You know what you need to do? Go f*ck yourself!"

  16. babyhopes says:

    My husband's mom is the worst. I tried telling her that we were going through some tests a while back, and she suggested we go on a trip to help us relax. When the test results showed that our issue is low motility, she again said the "relax" bit. I kind of wanted to punch her (but that goes along with most conversations I have with her!). When I said "it's a medical issue; relaxing is not going to cure it." she finally shut up. Now her favorite story to tell repeatedly is about the neighbors who tried for 5 years to get pregnant, gave up, and started the process for adoption, and lo and behold, they got pregnant! So now the magic cure is to try to adopt. :)

  17. Anonymous says:

    ha ha so true!! just relax….. (and your infertile husband may suddenly become fertile!!) worst part is the useless advice is an indicator that they haven't really listened to you…..

    although isn't it funny how friends with babies are the worst!!

  18. Kelly says:

    "Yes, relaxing will somehow help my 2 uteruses fuse together, my hormones align into perfect balance, and my endometriosis disappear."

    That's how I want to respond to people who tell me that. But I don't. I just say, "yeah, that must be it. I'll try that."

  19. Stephanie says:

    The free advice I HATED the most was "Just relax!" It was mean and inflammatory for certain but beyond that it was silly! I always wanted to say, "So everyone you know that has children are relaxed people??"
    Thanks for the chance to vent!

  20. tishi says:

    My mother in law had fertility problems for 5 years,
    then BAM pregnant with 3 boys one after another.
    She said it was because she prayed to a Saint.
    She brings it up all the time now, as If I had never
    thought to pray to god to get me out of this!
    Grandmother in law thinks we "just don't want
    it badly enough"

  21. jrose35 says:

    I hate that comment too and love the awesome picture for that is how I feel when I get that stupid comment. I now snap back to people who make that comment that we have tried the relaxing method and it does not work! My mother knows better than to say anything and my family has been warned to stay away from that comment. I also hate the damn vacation comment that is the worst as if me and my husband went away all our infertility problems would melt away. I want to tell them all to kindly go to h*** and that their comments are not welcomed!

    Love this blog it is has helped me so much!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    When I first approached my OBGYN about our infertility she said that we should "just have fun with it." That was three years ago and it still burns me up every time I think about it. I had to refer myself to a reproductive endocrinologist because she wasn't smart enough to. Now that I'm finally pregnant from IVF, I have to go back to the idiot Dr. because we live in a rural area in and she's the only one in the county.
    I've also gotten the age old "you just need a good vacation together" response a dozen times.

  23. Michele says:

    So glad you posted this… exactly the reason I titled my blog as I did:


  24. Nadine says:

    I must say, I haven't heard, "Just relax." What I do hear a lot is, "It'll happen when it'll happen" (no, REALLY?), and my all-time hate-favorite, "It'll happen when you stop thinking about it." So, then, by your reckoning, I'll never be pregnant, because I CAN'T STOP EFFING THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

  25. Where is my BFP? says:

    I love how people to relax and dont think about it. How the hell are you suppose to not think about it when you have to go to the doctor and spread your legs? How can you “not try” while you have to make an appointment, takes meds and give yourself shots.

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