For the most part, I honestly think it's a shame we, as a society, don't talk about infertility. It's usually a hushed conversation shared between friends and partners, and the secrecy of it all can make women feel as if they're something fundamentally wrong or defunct with them. There are however, the moments when I've heard some of the creepy things people say to women struggling with infertility, and I start to think that it's for the best if no one talks about infertility ever again. Personally, it's something I usually keep private to protect my emotions and pride, but I would be lying if I said I didn't also stay hush hush to protect myself from the creeps of the world. The last thing I need is some stranger offering me inane advice or asking me personal questions.
If you don't struggle with infertility, you might be surprised at how brazen people can be when they learn you're having a tough time getting pregnant. If you do struggle with infertility, these bizarre statements probably (and sadly) won't be that surprising to you at all. Usually when I'm faced with this type of conversation with an acquaintance (friends know better and complete strangers aren't usually so bold), my brain goes straight into gif mode.
This one is usually particularly apropos:
Then again, it's not always worth it to go there and, instead, I'll stick to something more along these lines:
A blank stare will usually put a rude stranger in their place (or at least make them feel extremely uncomfortable) and they'll inevitably retreat into the woodwork. Honestly, that's where I wish those people would stay, instead of blurting these ridiculous and creepy things in the direction of someone who is struggling with infertility.
"Are You Sure You're Doing It Right?"
If you mean to ask, "Are you sure you're doing it at the right time of the month?" then just ask that instead. Do not ask me if I know how to have sex.
"I Just Look At My Partner & I'm Pregnant"
Um, well. Yuck, and no. That's not how reproduction works.
Honestly, there is something inherently creepy about talking about how exceptionally fertile you and your partner are. It's also, arguably, the least helpful comment you could make. Explaining how fertile you are does not help me feel better or become more fertile.
"I Bet I Could Get You Pregnant"
What in the what? I just, um. What? For f*ck's sake.
"Are You Too Skinny To Get Your Period?"
Do you know how skinny you have to be to not get your period? Believe me, I am not that skinny. Plus, a person's size usually has nothing to do with their ability to get their period, and more to do with how healthy or unhealthy they are.
Since you're into the whole "science" thing, apparently, do you know how many people have irregular periods for a whole host of other reasons? Do you know how much I don't want to be talking about periods with anyone other than my doctor and maybe my mom?
"What's Your Partner's Sperm Count?"
Unless you happen to also be a fertility specialist, I do not want to talk sperm count with you. Ever.
"Do You Have Any Eggs Left?"
Like, for real? I am not that old. Oh, and did you see that Janet Jackson was pregnant at 52? So do not ask me about my old eggs, they are my business and my business alone.
"You'll Probably Get Pregnant If You Adopt"
You know what's not a great reason to adopt? Thinking adoption has some sort of magic power that will automatically get you pregnant. Just because some people who have struggled with infertility have gotten pregnant after or during adoption doesn't mean adoption is a medical solution, and it certainly doesn't mean you should be walking around suggesting it.