Aarrrrgggghhhhh 😑😑

Ok sorry but this is going to be a bit of a rant! I wish there was a helpful pocket sized leaflet out there called 'What not to say to someone going through IVF or struggling to convince ' as I would post it straight to my step mother! Just had another chat with her over the phone and in one sentence she seemed to manage to squeeze in the phrases 'keep your chin up, just relax and it will happen and keep on doing lots of it'. She infuriates me so much and I feel like screaming!!!! When people say things like that to you it makes you feel like you are actually doing something wrong in the bedroom department! 😳. She has told me a number of times we just need to 'get drunk and have fun' like this is the answer to our infertility issues. I've tried talking to her in an adult way about everything going on but she still thinks I just need to relax and have more sex! Oh if only life were that easy!!

Ok rant over, and I feel much better now!! Hoping you lovely ladies don't have such insensitive and clueless people in your lives and I solemnly swear I will never tell any of you to 'relax and keep doing it' πŸ˜‰ xx

46 Replies

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  • Totally with you on this! It's the 'I had a friend and when they relaxed it just happened' that gets me angry every time! Like somehow it's not medical, just my frame of mind that has caused years of upset!!!

    Grr! Of course I usually just smile and nod..... A pamphlet is a great idea!

  • Maybe we should all contribute our pet peeves and come up with one! I've also heard so many examples of 'oh when you relax and stop thinking about it, it will just happen' Grrrrrrrr😑😑

  • Hello. Unfortunately I have had several people say that. Including my own mother. With my mum I sat down and explained everything and didn't leave the room until she fully understood what we were going through and that it wasn't just going to happen. I did find the info on the other website before This one was launched. All about info for relatives to help them understand. I don't know if it is still available. But If it is. I would print it of and just simply post it to her. Just that no covering letter or anything.

    Lots and lots of love and hugs your way darling. Xxxx

  • Thank you Piglet, joking aside that is a really good idea and I think I will do that as she has said it too many times now xx

  • Good idea!

  • Hi, I really feel with you. I think we have all heard it lots of times, my mum is really struggling with it because she fell pregnant so quickly and she somehow thinks it's my husbands fault which doesn't help either. My mother in law thinks she knows all about IVF because she knew someone 30 (!) years ago who had problems too. If only life were so easy. We have decided that at our next IVF try we won't tell people what we are doing, I'm fed up with all the opinions and advice from people who really don't know anything. If we had a complicated eye condition we wouldn't even listen to the advice of somebody who's never had any problems with their eyes ;). Good luck, be strong and firm ;)!!

  • Thank you miri-p, my lovely mother in law has also offered the advice of 'a lady she once knew with this problem' and told me as soon as they adopted a child she fell pregnant naturally! As lovely as these stories are they are no good to us at the moment! My hubby and I have also decided we are going to keep the next round quiet as you're right, all the comments and 'advice' we get just adds to the stress. I even got told by my sister in law that our infertility is because we own pet rabbits?!! Wtf? The mind boggles!!!

  • Pet rabbits? Well I've never heard that one!πŸ˜…

    My MIL told me the one about her friends who adopted and got pregnant immediately 35+ years ago. I know she was trying to be helpful but it's like most medical things everyone knows someone who had some kind of problem and they drag up the story when all you want is an acknowledgment of your pain. My mum dragged up the story of her friend 40 years ago being told by her GP to have a few drinks. I told her that that wouldn't be advised nowadays and besides we'd tried that idea!! She hasn't given us anymore "ideas" since.

    Good luck with your treatment and trying to get your step mum to understand!

  • Thank you so much. We all seem to be in the same boat with the 'helpful advice and stories' which are forced upon us!! Xxx

  • Totally understand, it's like telling someone you have diabetes and he s answering by you're a hypochondriac.

    Maybe she needs time to get her head around the fact that she won't have grandchildren naturally.

  • Maybe that is the case but I have spoken at length with her about it but then she just goes back to saying things like that! I think it's because she wants it to be that easy but it's upsetting to hear as you feel like it's your fault. Thanks for your understanding, it's so good to know I'm not alone with this. Xx

  • Mine is oh well you have to just wait and see what happens!!!! Really helpful....so I really feel your pain! I sent both our patent a video my clinic did to help explain the process. It's made by the Oxford fertility clinic and its in YouTube if that's any help. Good luck xx

  • Thank you so much Emma I may end up doing that. The waiting and seeing what happens is sooooo frustrating too! I hope the video helped your situation and I will certainly think about doing that xxx

  • Hi Daisy-Mae

    My mum used to constantly tell me that I just needed to 'relax' so I know how infuriating it is because:

    1. It suggests there isn't really a medical problem and that the whole thing is just self inflicted;

    2. The reason you're stressed is because it hasn't happened after a LONG time of trying. It's not like after month 1 of try you were totally stressed out. So, if all you had to do was relax you would have fallen pregnant then;

    3. I doubt the NHS would be spending so much month on investigating and treating fertility issues of all they had to do was pack each of us off with a bottle of vodka and an overnight in the Lake District!

    4. There was nothing that made me feel more tense about the situation than being told to "just relax".

    I did send this leaflet onto a few people and you may find it helps. My mum did stop telling me to 'relax' after I sent it to her!


    It's good to have a rant sometimes! I hope

    you feel better for it.

    Good luck x

  • Thanks Hopeful I do feel so much better for having a rant on here and for hearing all you lovely ladies have had the same issues. I think as a woman you blame yourself anyway deep down for not being able to have kids (even if there isn't anything medically wrong) and hearing someone tell you to 'relax' confirms it must be your fault. Thank you for the link too 😊

    We are off to Portugal soon so I'm certainly going to enjoy a glass of wine or two and really 'relax' and we'll see what happens! Lol πŸ˜‰

  • I know what you mean. I was always sure it was my 'fault' we couldn't conceive while my hubby was convinced it was his! πŸ™ˆ of course, it's not anyone's fault, none of us choose this road!

    Enjoy Portugal! A few glasses of wine and a bit of 'relaxation' certainly won't do you any harm! πŸ˜€

  • This is a great leaflet thankyou for posting this. Might be useful for people I know.


  • No problem. I hope it helps!

    How are you getting on? Is your FET not due about now? x

  • I joined this network a while ago but have never posted before. However, following a bad day on Thursday, I planned to post something along a very similar theme.

    We are going through our first round of IVF and following an appointment on Wed, I was feeling particularly bad about it all. I was explaining this to a colleague and she asked me if I'd thought about adoption or donor eggs (why I need donor eggs, I don't know! There's nothing wrong with mine as far as I'm aware!!) I've had several people now ask me if I've considered adoption, it makes me want to scream! I know they are trying to be helpful but I feel like its said to me with no thought whatsoever. Like adoption is the easy way out of all this heartache?!

    My most favourite thing that has been said to me is am I going to leave my partner (it's looking like his motility is an issue.) My stunned response was "why, because his sperm isn't good enough quality?!" I could accept these comments if they were coming from insensitive men or young women who have no desire yet to have children, but they are coming from women that I love and care about and who are mothers. Surely they understand the desire to have your own child and how heart breaking it must be when it doesn't happen?? Their comments play on my mind for days and make this whole process even more difficult.

    Sorry that was a bit of a rant and not very helpful in terms of advice. But I know exactly how you're feeling. A friend who has just gone through Ivf said to me that people who haven't been through infertility will never understand it so don't expect them to and take their comments with a pinch of salt. xx

  • Hi Emily

    I hope you don't mind me butting in! People say some really silly thingsand your friend is right that they are better ignored but it can be frustrating and upsetting when they come from the people you are looking to for support.

    I think people suggest adoption because they see it as the solution to your problem (as if you wouldn't have thought of it yourself!). However, what you really want is someone just to acknowledge how tough what you're going through is and say "I know it's rubbish that your struggling. It's really unfair as you would be a fab mum" and to give you a cuddle.

    To me adoption was a separate journey with its own stresses and strains and one which we would have considered once our options to have our own children had been exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I think adoption is wonderful and if that was where the journey took us we would have been blessed, but it's no more our responsibility to adopt than it is the responsibility of those who have children. Maybe ask them if they're planning to adopt next time they ask!

    As for your friend who asked if you were leaving your hubby.... There's not much to say other than that your desire to have children is an extension of your love for each other. You don't just want a child. You want a child together!

    Good luck with your journey x

  • Yes Hopeful1982, you are exactly right - I just want people to say I understand this is tough for you. Sometimes I feel I'm having to justify why I'm finding this so tough! They don't need to offer me 'solutions'. My response to the adoption question is now 'no, I haven't quite given up on my own body yet. Adoption is something we will consider much further down the line.' Thank you all for the replies, it's really nice to talk to people who just understand. X

  • Oh Emily please never apologise for having a rant as that is exactly why we have this forum and you have to rant to us as we know exactly how you are feeling! The 'real' world out there can be very cruel and I've found myself feeling extremely isolated even when I'm surrounded by friends and family. We are only human and insensitive comments do play on our mind and stay with us, even though our rational mind knows they are a load of rubbish.

    My hubby and I were quite open with family and friends about our first attempt as we were pretty naive and convinced it would work however next time I think we are going to keep things to ourselves as the 'advice' is just too much to handle when you're going through so much already.

    Good luck with your journey Emily and you will come through all of this a much stronger person one way or another. I know I need to listen to my own advice but try not to let insensitive comments play on your mind, just smile them off and move on. Take care and I'm always here to listen if you need to rant!! Xxx

  • My mind boggles at this insensitivity - but your friend's advice is good x

  • I'll take a copy!! We've been told to keep trying, relax, it will definitely happen and my dads latest "life's too short to be unhappy, cheer up and maybe think about options, having kids isn't the be all and end all" (from the man who has had 6 of them!). People think that having IVF is a choice, like it's not necessary. It's worse now since our first cycle failed. X

  • Until you have been in our shoes you just can not understand what it's like. I know people are well meaning and do want the best for us but that sometimes means just giving us a hug and staying quiet!! Sending you a virtual hug and wishing you luck with the next stage of your journey. Our first attempt failed too so we are on similar paths 😞 xxx

  • Thank you! I don't know how id have coped so far without this forum. People presume that because the day of finding out it didn't work has passed, so have or feelings about it. If I cancel a plan or get upset my parents are just like 'what's wrong' and I lose my temper so quickly with them. I know they are trying to be positive an helpful but it's making me not want to see them! I have my fingers crossed for you and your next treatment xx

  • Oh I totally understand!!! My sister in law last weekend: "when are you 2 going to have kids? I want nieces! Hurry up!" My husband said "it's not like we're not trying, back off!" And I said "we don't all find it as easy as you I'm afraid" (she had 4 by the age of 30 - all effortless 'surprises') - you'd think that would stop her? Nope, she carries on "well I want my nieces soon" 😑😑😑

    I have lost count of the number of people who have said similar things since we've been trying - they don't mean it but it's hurtful.

    It must be so frustrating for you - like if it was that easy it wouldn't have happened by now. Rant away - it always helps xx

  • 4 by the age of 30!! Wow lucky thing!! Oh dear you have enough on your plate without having the guilt from your sister to contend with too. Ugh 😁 tell her to be patient and the best things come to those who wait ❀️

  • This thread did make me laugh a bit and feel a bit better while I'm sat feeling sorry for myself at the start of my 2ww. I thought I was just being over sensitive to people's comments but I realise. I am normal now... Phew!

    I have the added issue that my husband is in the military and therefore away quite a bit. In fact, he is posted away all week and only home at weekends for the next six months. People are incredibly helpful with their advice saying things like 'It's not very easy to conceive when you're hardly ever together'

    No sh*t Sherlock, I thought you could have sex via e-mail these days? What they don't take into account is that this isn't a new thing and we've been ttc for four years, two of which we had the novelty of living in the same house without him being sent away. That isn't the reason we have fertility proble,s, do they not realise you go through years of scanning, testing, poking and prodding before they even consider you for IVF treatment?!!! There is a reason I can't conceive naturally and it is nothing to do with not having enough sex!

    In fact one of my friends who helpfully mentioned this during my last IVF cycle was at the time seven months pregnant and in the "I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly" gang.... Grrrrr!

  • Omg I'm with you on that, my OH works away too, gas and oil industry, so treatment is a strategic nightmare, turning us into military style planners lol. But yes, it's like people think we're doing this for the fun of it, like we'd choose Ivf over what should be the easiest thing in the world. We've been trying for pm long I literally can't remember the last time we used any contraceptive, must be a decade, pm when the nurse advised us to totally prevent any pregnancy (for am operation I had to have), 1 I laughed and 2 thought oh crap, how much are condoms theses days?! Lol. Hope you're feeling ok today xxx

  • Oh Cazo you are perfectly normal and I'm so pleased you could have a giggle about all of this! Sometimes I feel like I have to laugh otherwise I'll just cry (or punch someone!πŸ˜‰).

    It's crazy how everyone suddenly starts to focus on your sex life as soon as you reveal you are having these issues and I cringe when speaking to people in case they start giving us 'baby making tips'

    Good luck with the awful 2ww, take it easy and find things to keep you smiling. XXXX

  • Ha ha... yes i can totally relate! Well guess what... relaxing never worked for us & we had to have IVF. Im very sure in the 7 years in trying we weren't on edge every time we had sex! Some people have just not got a clue! X

  • Lol no clue at all!! Thank you your comment made me smile πŸ˜‚

  • Hi girls! In my case its my hubby who doesn't want to know about IVF anything (we are due to have embrio back on Wed) in case this second time it doesnt work.

    The thing is i got pregnant naturally after 5 years trying and 1 unuccessful ICSI but sadlyhad a miscarriage at 9 weeks.

    So my hubby has now an ideait will all happen naturally if stop thinking about it and never mind he is 48 , we have unexplained infertility with male factor due to low sperm count.

    Im a nanny and one of the parents i work for trying for another baby right now. And i bet she ll get pregnant but my ICSI won't work this time again!

    Sorry for a rant!

    Just feel tired and sad(((

    So many people i know /worked for had their 2d and 3d babies while im still trying...

  • I know what you mean as I work in a nursery and I have seen so many families expand year after year and all the time I'm here trying with no luck. It is so hard but just don't give up and try to keep thinking positive thoughts. Sending you love and keeping my fingers crossed everything goes well for you on Wednesday xxxx

  • Thank you hunny x

  • Bless you all, these comments resonate with us so much, both with trying and loosing our babies. I've come to the conclusion that people often (especially with grief, which let's face it, infertility can cause us to grieve) go into auto pilot saying things they assume they should, things that will make them feel better as opposed to what they really feel, because it's so scary and sad and taboo still, they feel the need to be "helpful" and offer solutions.......because we've not thought about them before right?! πŸ˜‰. So the "don't worry it will happen next time, oh I know a lady who miscarried 11 times, but don't worry she's got 3 babies now" kinda comments. I came to this conclusion after having comments from children and young people, they are so honest. "I wish you could have kept her because I wanted to meet her, We've all waited a long time for you to have a baby, I'm really sad for you, can I hug you?" From my friends 4yr old, going on 24yr old lol, when she remembered mummy told her baby Annabelle had to go to heaven. "I'm so sorry, there's nothing I can say to make it better, just know we are thinking of you and your angels always" from a 17yr old girl who is one of my clients. "you're one of the bravest people I know" 15yr old girl who was our little salon assistant. She sent me this message after hearing of our daughter dying. "I hope this doesn't upset you, but you know your going to be the best mum don't you, your already a mummy figure to us all. Whichever way you get a baby, they'll be the luckiest baby to have you guys. This one was particularly special, years ago now, but never forgotten it, from a group of ladies in my hairdressing course.

    Out of the mouth of babes as my Nana used to say!

    We've had some nasty comments just recently, so I'm really trying to remember that adults, well, they're just a bit dumb sometimes, so I'll try to remember the beautiful, kind, healing comments to counteract them 😊

    Vent away, feels good doesn't it πŸ˜‰ love to you all xxx

  • I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss and the fact you have had to face insensitive or nasty people too. It sounds like you have some amazing children (and I'm sure adults) in your life and the comments you shared made me tearful. The innocence of children shows us how to love and I hope you can focus on the lovely comments you have received.

    You are so brave and a real inspiration to many people on here and we are all crossing our fingers and hoping for the best for you. Sending love xxxx

  • Thank you for such kind words, that's honestly brought such happy tears to my eyes, and it really means a great deal to hear these things and shared experiences from people who truly understand, wish I'd found you guys earlier!!! Lol. I work with kids, so see first hand just how much more clever, intuitive and braver they are than we often given them credit for. A little girl said to a friend of mine (her baby passed away too) mummy told me not to talk about baby ...... because you will be sad, but I wanted to tell you I love you and I love ...... too. Of course mum did cry, but actually, was the most perfect thing to hear at that moment in time. Kids just have a knack I think we loose as adults sometimes. Best of wishes to you all on your cycles/tests/treatments/adoptions xxx

  • Thank you so much, you have made me feel normal. I am so sick of the " just relax" " stop thinking about it ". Honestly if I say don't think of pink elephants what do you think of?

    Every month my heart breaks. We are still waiting for our referral, 1 year 6 months - not that I am counting!


  • Gosh that is a long time to be waiting Vicky 😞. Hopefully you will hear something soon. This journey changes time so much I think. Now everything is measured in months and appointments and countdowns to start dates whereas before I just used to live! Try to keep busy with other things too and hopefully time will pass quickly for you xxx

  • Thanks for your reply. We have been ttc for 1 year 6 months, waiting for a referral appointment for 6 months. According the the nhs website first appointment is 6-8 months after referral in our area. The wait continues.

    Its so ironic that I spent all my twenties trying not to get pregnant and the last 2 desperately trying to conceive. Reading others stories and trials makes me feel that I am not alone as I don't have close friend who really understand. x

  • This thread is great, really good to hear everyone's experiences, although obv highlighting awful insensitivity from others. I'm soon going to a 50year anniversary of my old High School where I'll see a lot of old classmates. I found myself already mentally troubleshooting what I will say if anyone asks about children. I doubt it will even come up in the ways I imagine but it just made me realise how we are always braced for awkward questions from others.

    As to the -just relax it will happen-comments, how's this for a response:

    "Do you know that is the worst thing you can say to someone who is going through medical fertility problems? Even the NHS guidelines sheet states that is the most insensitive comment you can make to anyone." and leave them open mouthed and hopefully lesson learned.

    If you like the person enough (ie not wanting to start a full row) then continue with "I know it is impossible for someone who has not experienced IVF to know anything about it, so there is really no new advice anyone can suggest unless you're a doctor. The most important thing for me is to be listened to and that my experience is respected. "

    If it helps to lessen the sting then perhaps patronise the person in your mind, in fact PITY their lack of knowledge and lack of sensitivity.

    At the very least you will make them think twice for the next time it comes up, and you will have educated them not to say it to the next person they meet with similar issues.

    Just some thoughts, I haven't had the opportunity to try it out yet either, but I am prepared if I have to.


  • This made me smile - met up with a heavily pregnant friend of mine to catch up. We spent 3 hours talking about her baby/my fertility issues and miscarriage. - What a contrast!

    She told me firstly that her pregnancy was an accident and that she'd drunk very heavily three times the week she found out she was pregnant - not helpful!

    Then commented that she was jealous of another woman's bump as it was a 'nicer shape' than hers.

    And finally told me to 'chill out' and then sent me information re. Sex positions - even though she knows I have a problem with the muscle wall of my womb which is causing problems with implantation - nothing to do with sex/conceiving! Pffft people need to think before they open their mouths with unsolicited advice!

  • Oh my goodness applebird this person certainly sounds like the kind of 'friend' you need to avoid 😞. How insensitive to not even listen to what your issues are and then send you useless information on sex positions. 😑. She has made my blood boil and I wasn't even there!

    I hope you have some lovely friends you can turn to for support and maybe this 'friend' needs one of our advice leaflets!! Good luck with everything xxx

  • It's good to get these things off your chest quite frankly! And what better forum than a whole bunch of ladies going through the same thing. I've had years of my mother in law telling me to try all sorts - let's see....holy water, unregulated tablets from a white doctor in India, a piece of string around the stomach, cough mixture.....the list could go on. The truth is people are also scared of saying nothing at all, so they up saying things that don't help! My husband ended up telling her we aren't having any! One way to silence certain people :)

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