Ah, the holidays! Time of happiness and cheer and family togetherness. And who knows better how to ask the most awkward and embarrassing questions than your family?
Fortunately, Dr. Elan Simckes of the Fertility Partnership, a low-cost fertility treatment center in St. Peters, is a full-service fertility doctor and, in this handy press release, offers advice for people with intrusive relatives who just can't stop asking "Are you knocked up yet?"
Note: This advice applies only to people who are actively undergoing fertility treatment. If you're single or just plain uninterested in reproducing either now or never (and, yes, there are actually people out there who don't want to give their parents the ultimate gift of grandchildren), you're on your own.
St. Louis (Nov. 18, 2010) - Holidays should be a time for joy and family, but for women struggling with infertility the season can be a painful time. Holiday cards and letters boast of other women's pregnancies and feature babies and children dressed in red and white outfits. Celebrations focus on children and the inevitable questioning from well-meaning relatives, driving some couples to skip the festivities all together.
"Doctors have known for a long time that stress has a great impact on a woman's ability to conceive, and a recent NIH study is even further evidence that this is true," said Dr. Elan Simckes of Fertility Partnership. "The added stress of facing holiday gatherings does not help, but skipping the festivities is often not an option, so it's important that couples plan a strategy for facing the holidays."
Dr. Simckes has several tips for developing a plan.
"The important thing to remember is your relatives want to see you happy, and they're asking because they're hoping to hear good news," Dr. Simckes continued. "Having an answer and a strategy for getting out of the conversation can help reduce the stress of facing that party."
- Find a subtle way to let family members know that yes, you are trying, but you'd rather focus on enjoying the holiday instead of talking about it right now.
- If your relatives don't get the message (we all have that sweet-but-a-little-obtuse aunt, right?), think of a short answer to the question before heading to the party, so you won't be put on the spot with nothing to say.
- Be armed with other interesting news or information to share with your relatives, so you can give your answer to the baby question and then quickly turn the conversation in another direction.
- If all else fails, choose a sensitive relative to head Aunt Norma off at the pass.
Dr. Simckes has advice for family and friends. "Employ the 'if you don't know, don't ask' policy. Most couples don't want to talk about fertility treatments while going through them. Let them bring it up. And if they don't, talk about pumpkin pie, instead."