What to Say to Someone Struggling with Infertility


Many women dream of starting a family and having children one day, some even attempt to plan out their lives accordingly in order to make it happen. But the reality is that things don’t always go to plan, and conceiving a child does not come as easily as some might think. In Canada, fertility issues have risen in the past several decades, with 1 in 6 Canadian couples now experiencing fertility-related problems.

It’s difficult for a couple that is struggling with infertility to be excited and happy about starting a family when the stress and pressures of infertility get in the way. With National Infertility Awareness Week around the corner (May 12th – 20th), Dr. David Greenberg, Family Physician at St. Joseph Hospital, has some tips to help start the family planning.

  • Don’t “try”! For couples “trying” to conceive, every month can be filled with anxiety and worry. Heightened stress can actually cause more challenges. Therefore, it’s important to live in the moment and just enjoy your partner.
  • Don’t blame each other |  There are many reasons why conceiving a baby may be difficult, but it’s not anyone’s fault. Blaming yourself or your partner won’t fix anything and may lead to more problems, including tension in your relationship.
  • Live healthy  |  Don’t wait until you find out you’re expecting to start making changes to your diet or exercise routine. Once you decide to start trying to conceive, start behaving like you’re already pregnant by eating right, taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding alcohol, stop smoking  and exercising sensibly.
  • Know yourself  |  Improve your odds of conceiving by having sex on the days when conception is likeliest to happen. Every woman’s body is unique and, when trying to become pregnant, your individual cycle should be taken into consideration. The First Response™ Digital Ovulation Test detects and tracks your personal daily baseline levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) to detect your personal LH surge, unlike other ovulation tests that use a preset “average” level to determine an LH surge.
  • Know when to see an expert  |  Most couples who are trying to conceive will become pregnant within a year. For others it can take longer. If it’s taking longer than you expected to conceive, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor about what you should be doing to improve your chances of conceiving.


If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, the most important thing is to be supportive and understanding. Remember that each and every woman is different. Let them know that you are there to listen when they need to talk. Be emphatic to their emotional state; realize that there may be times they don’t want to be around brand new babies and outings with children when they are dealing with their own inability to conceive.

The inability to conceive is a hardship that no one should go through, and unexpected or not it is something that many women in Canada deal with on a daily basis. National Infertility Awareness Week brings compassion and awareness to everyone who has dealt with or is currently dealing with infertility.



  1. Doris H
    May 1, 2016 / 10:32 am

    We are currently struggling with fertility issues. I really hate when people say to me “Don’t worry, it’ll happen when you least expect it”. Um no!
    After having several miscarriages & a few failed IVF treatments/procedures, we have very little hope left of conceiving. So to hear people’s shallow advice is gut-wrenching. Good intentions or not, I think people who don’t truly understand the struggle should refrain from giving people any advice & false hope.

    • Margarita
      May 2, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      Hi Doris, I agree with what you’re saying. In any emotional situation, if that person wants to talk about, we should be there to listen – not give unnecessary advice.

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