Did you know that almost 1 in every 6 couples is unable to conceive, which makes it almost 30 million couples in India itself? For couples struggling to conceive, it’s comforting to know that in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help realise their dreams. IVF involves a lot of emotional highs and lows. Unfortunately, at times, people don’t really know how to react around the couple undergoing IVF. You may not be aware of their pain as most couples try their level best to hide it and continue with their life, suffering in silence from within. Here, Dr. Sulbha Arora, Clinical Director, Nova IVF Fertility, Mumbai is telling you about various questions that you should avoid asking couples undergoing IVF.
Avoid Asking These Questions To A Couple Undergoing IVF
Fertility in both men and women all over the world, is on the decline due to various lifestyle factors like nutrition, exposure to organic pollutants, stress, delayed marriages etc.; some of which are under our control and many of which are not. IVF helps such couples conceive. If you know a couple who is undergoing IVF, ensure you don’t pop these questions to them as it might make them sad.
1: Are you undergoing IVF? Is there good news as you appear to be pregnant?
Undergoing an IVF cycle does not mean that a woman will immediately conceive. It is a well-planned, step-by-step and gradual process. Some, though not all, women may experience bloating due to the hormones. If you know of someone undergoing the process and they seem to have gained a bit of weight, it does not necessarily mean they have already conceived. They will tell you when they wish to share, you need to avoid asking them about the outcome. Their weight gain might already be causing them a lot of depression and feelings of helplessness. Drawing their attention to it will only add to their frustration. In any case, anyone’s weight gain or loss is a topic no one should ever comment on; in the IVF scenario it becomes all the more important to refrain from talking about it.
2: Why IVF? If God wants you to have a child, you will have it naturally.
Infertility, just like most other health problems, does not respond to just prayers. Having faith is important, however, there are certain problems such as blocked fallopian tubes or low sperm count where a natural pregnancy may be impossible and IVF can help. Besides, for those who believe in God, or a higher power, one good way of looking at it is that God himself might have led the couple to that particular IVF clinic as they may be destined to conceive there. It would still be the work of the higher power, but the path may be through IVF. Always say encouraging and positive words to the struggling couple. God will bless you.
3: Why do you have to go for IVF? It can be risky for you and the baby.
IVF is safe and has no major or long-lasting side-effects. The procedure is explained in detail to the couples. They are evaluated properly and the procedure only started once they have been deemed fit to undergo it. There is nothing to worry about as it will not cause any harm to the mother or the baby. The subsequent pregnancy is like any normal pregnancy, and the risks involved in it would be just the same as the risks involved in a natural pregnancy. Although the mother’s age and prior health conditions may predispose her to higher risks, that may happen in a natural or an IVF pregnancy equally. The IVF process itself does not add to the risk.
4: How long will it take to become pregnant?
This is a question that can create a negative impact on a woman’s mind. She can get stressed, anxious, and depressed owing to the fear of failure of the procedure. Try to encourage the couple and support them in whatever way you can, instead of asking such questions that create unnecessary pressure. How long it might take is a question that even the doctor might not be able to answer, forget the couple. Many couples conceive in the very first attempt, while some may take a while longer. Everyone’s problems are different, as are everyone’s chances and time taken to conceive.
5: IVF is painful, why don’t you adopt a child?
IVF is not painful. It is a simple and easy process. On the other hand, adoption is also a great way of completing your family, but whether the couple decides to undergo IVF, or adoption or opt for child-free life, it is their decision alone to make.
In a nutshell, people must not show sympathy to a couple who is trying IVF to become parents. Deep inside, they must be undergoing a lot which can get triggered with someone's insensitive words. So, be kind and never ask such question to them. Instead, give them hope and positive vibes.
Image credits- freepik