What to say to couple with fertility problems?

(6 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Thu 18-Jun-15 15:20:11

My DB told me today that SIL has been told by her consultant that she has complete ovarian failure and IVF would not work. She's 38. She and DB didn't want kids for a long time but she changed her mind about a year ago and they threw themselves wholeheartedly into TTC. DB is not upset so much for himself but is sad that SIL is so disappointed. SIL is beating herself up about waiting so long even though she has been told her ovaries may have failed 10 years ago as the condition is not necessarily age related.

I haven't spoken to SIL about it but I do want to, however I am wary of saying something that might be seen as insensitive. DH and I also have fertility issues (male factor plus I am 41) and to be honest I am a little bit sad that possibly neither DB nor I will continue our family line (our parents and only uncle are dead so we are the only ones left). I won't say that to SIL though, I promise. Any tips on the right thing to say in such a situation? They are against donor eggs or adoption.

PurpleDaisies Thu 18-Jun-15 15:29:56

There is no right thing to say that will make them feel any better. I'd just be a good friend and listen how they're feeling, if they want to discuss it at all.

It is really lovely that you are worried about upsetting them. Since you've got experience of what it's like to not be able to have kids think about what would have made you angry/sad. Things like miracles always happen and so and so got pregnant as soon as they stopped trying etc etc. Also avoid trying to convince them of the benefits of being childless (had someone try that on me once-not fun).

I'd say just be normal and avoid the subject unless they bring it up. Saying you don't know what to say and but you're sad they're having to deal with this and anything they need just ask you is fine. flowers

18yearsoftrying Thu 18-Jun-15 22:12:57

I would take the lead from them. If they raise the subject I'd be ok with following through with a sentence but if it wasn't mentioned by them, I wouldn't bring it up. The trouble is though that in this case they may think you don't care - do you have the kind of relationship where you could email (or text etc) just a one-liner explaining that you care but don't want to mention it for fear of upsetting?

18yearsoftrying Thu 18-Jun-15 22:13:51

Ps Jessie, sorry to hear your news too flowers

sparechange Tue 23-Jun-15 18:21:06

Sorry for your news, but also for theirs.

There is no real right thing to say. Maybe 'sorry to hear what you guys are going through. We know a bit of what it is like in case you ever want to talk' and leave it at that?

lugo40 Wed 24-Jun-15 07:20:28

I'm sorry, life is so unfair at times.

From personal experience my advice is to not try and find positives, if they are sad and disappointed acknowledge that it must be hard but don't try and find positives for them, they might not be ready for that yet.

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