What can I say to people who tell me I’ll get pregnant if I “just relax?”

Posted by

We received a comment from dzymzlzy on a recent post — how do you respond to people who tell you that you’ll get pregnant if you just chill out?

My husband and I tried to conceive for a while before I started to suspect I had endometriosis. This was later confirmed, and I am now two-and-a-half weeks post-excision for my endo and am finally feeling hopeful about actually getting pregnant.

People love to tell me that if I “just relax” about conceiving, I’ll get pregnant right away. How should I respond?

Comments on What can I say to people who tell me I’ll get pregnant if I “just relax?”

  1. I am an IVF mom to a bouncing 16 month old girl, I wish you the best of luck! I have to admit some of my stress was relieved once I got into the IVF world, because I could finally prove to myself that it wasn’t my fault- nothing to do with diet, acupuncture or my uni binge drinking ways. “Just relax” is so frustrating. I agree with many of the posters above, a little more with the sucker-punch plan. : )

  2. I’ve had two miscarriages, and almost every single person I’ve told invariably says ‘Well, at least you know you can concieve’. Yes, that’s true, but what I don’t know is if my body can successfully carry a baby to term. To me, it seems like there are more solutions for people with fertility problems than there are for women who miscarry, so knowing that I can concieve is small comfort. Unfortunately now, it’s taking us some time to concieve again (after two very easy conceptions that ended in the miscarriages), so I’m now getting the same comments about just relaxing and suggestions about going on a holiday. If I was a more private person I wouldn’t have to deal with it, but having our close friends aware of these major events in our lives does help us to cope.

  3. “I’ll relax when the stick has two lines, thanks.”

    It took me 6 years to get pregnant. I “tried to relax” for 4. Then worried and freaked for 1, and then gave up.

    And I’m still not relaxed, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, a whole new stress popped!

    Unless you’re one of the few lucky 100% Zen, there will be stress days, crying days, meh days, free days, all kind of days.

    • “Unless you’re one of the few lucky 100% Zen, there will be stress days, crying days, meh days, free days, all kind of days.”

      This is good advice for pretty much everything! I feel like it’s hard to keep in mind when you think about a big life change–having a baby, getting married, starting a new job, moving to your dream city–but when you can manage, everything is easier to bear.

  4. After 2+ years of TTC with DS, I just learned to say thank you very much and move on. In the beginning I would go into how it really was harder for some people than others and believe me we’ve tried to just relax and let things “happen on their own.”

  5. I think the most difficult thing about the phrase is that it can come from anyone – not only did we hear it from family, friends, and strangers, but birthing centers and midwives that meant well but were surprised that we hadn’t even started trying to conceive at the time and we were already interviewing people. “Oh, you aren’t even pregnant yet? Don’t worry, just relax and have fun, and when it happens call us!”

    I know they didn’t mean to be insensitive because they were all very helpful people that meant well. I responded with a “thank you very much, but being active in seeking out my pregnancy choices puts my mind at ease more than anything else ever could.” I did have those crying days, those ‘omg not another period’ days, and it didn’t help that people loved giving advice. Best thing to do for me was every time I heard that dreaded phrase, I would change it in my mind.

    So instead of “Just relax” I would pretend I heard “Just be patient with yourself as a human, it’s the best thing you CAN do.” It made me feel so much better. Instead of the long drawn out sigh and frustration, I would actually feel better and smile.

  6. Lord, that hurts, doesn’t it? I’m glad you asked the question–99% of the people who asked me this were well-meaning, but didn’t have a frame of reference in their own lives for being sub-fertile. They didn’t know how badly comments like that hurt.

    Maybe we would all do the world (and future sub-fertile couples) a service if we gently said, “I know that comes from a place of kindness in your heart, but you should be aware that comments like that can really hurt the person you say them to.” And then maybe use Ariel’s “it’s just not that easy” to follow up. More people need to know that it isn’t okay to give advice.

  7. I’m sorry.

    As a person who would possibly say something along those lines, it isn’t intended as being an obnoxious comment. My husband and I have a hard time understanding people with infertility issues because for us pregnancy was so sudden. After getting married we stopped using BC and POW, preggers a month after I came back from another country (and it’s taken us months to feel kind-of okay with the idea of having a baby). I think that in many cases it’s simply not understanding the situation with your baby making troubles, or your feelings about wanting a baby and feelings about the infertility troubles themselves. I know I personally (especially as an outsider) have trouble understanding your perspective on all three instances, and if you were a friend I’m sure that it would be different knowing about the struggles you have and how you felt about the whole thing.

  8. OMG, is that the most obnixous comment or what! My husband and I miscarried last year, and since just tried to regain ground and hope. When we started not avoiding pregnancy again, people would ask all the time. “Are you pregnant yet?” When I replied no, their response is always. “Well just relax, nature will take its course when its time.” Thank you, your words are just the thing I needed to rememeber to relax! What would I have done without that little nugget of knowledge!?

  9. While i’m not suffering from fertility problems(that i’m aware of) i was diagnosed with Graves Disease a few months ago and it isn’t safe for me or a baby for me to get pregnant until i’m further along in my treatment and i’m desperate for a baby and i’m constantly getting asked “when are you two going to have a baby?” One person even said “so who is it out of the two of you is trying to stall in having a baby?” i’m getting sick of having to explain it to everyone.

  10. This comment sucks because the insinuation is that you, as the woman, must be doing something wrong! In our case it was the bloke who had low sperm count so we had no other option but to do IVF Which worked for us the first time! I’m 19 weeks up the duff after two years of “trying” to relax!! And I wish I had ariels comment up my sleeve at the time because the comment when directed at be left me feeling I was sucker punched! The other typical comment is “so when are you two going to get around to having kids, isn’t it about time?” to which my friend suggests replying “what makes you think I can?” that usually leaves people speechless!

  11. I tended to be blunt, and it was usually enough to even get an apology out of them….
    “We’ve been classified as infertile after two years of trying, relaxing won’t do anything that we haven’t already tried.”

    Being up front about our infertility made people really think about what they were saying.

  12. For me, it probably helps that I’m a doctor and feel comfortable talking about it, even my own medical problems. I get all technical on them and explain the issue causing the infertility, and conclude with something like “So you see, relaxing really would provide no medical benefit.”

  13. Grrr I hate that comment. Here’s what I said…

    Like most people, we started out relaxed, so if that was the answer I would be pregnant right now. Now we are on the longer more difficult journey to parenthood.

  14. My husband and I have been trying to conceive since we got married, two and a half years ago. On top of the usual “just relax and it will happen” comments, we also get “you’re so young, don’t worry” which I hate because if we can’t concieve at 20 and 21, then why in the world shouldn’t we worry?! With endometriosis on one side of the family, and mystery infertility on the other, it makes me want to pull my hair out.

  15. I just started trying to get pregnant (went off birth control at the beginning of November). But it won’t be easy for us because of my horribly irregular periods. I feel lucky that I have great doctor who is taking a more active approach and instead of waiting a year to see if anything else is wrong, she is checking now. Now I haven’t told anyone that we are trying because I don’t want the comments and questions. (I have a friend with PCOS, so I’ve seen how bad it hurts when people constantly bring it up. I usually just stick to asking how she is doing and feeling because I know the hormones really mess with her.) But I let it slip around a different friend that my doctor and I are doing tests to see if they can regulate my period. She assumed that that means we are trying now. And because I didn’t seem pregnant within a month of telling her that (she got preggers within 30 days of chucking the birth control), she now constantly asks me “How are your fertility problems coming?” in front of strangers or mutual friends who don’t know that I have a irregular period. And as much as I try to tell her I don’t have fertility problems, it’s just an irregular period, and we are not actively trying right now (cause we aren’t charting quite yet, I’m a little afraid too), she won’t quit calling it “fertility problems” and telling me I just need to relax and it’ll happen. Oh and telling mutual friends who are pregnant that I might be jealous of them cause I can’t get pregnant, so they shouldn’t talk about it in front of me. Ugh, I just don’t know what to say anymore.

  16. I hate it when people say this to me! Especially people who had no issues with infertility to begin with. I just say “We’re trying.” If infertility were as simple as just relaxing then this multi-billion dollar fertility industry is an amazing scam.

  17. I really enjoy making people uncomfortable when they say shitty things like this. So I say,”Did you know there are over 16million men who are direct descendants of Genghis Khan? I bet the women whose families were killed, villages destroyed, and were raped by him weren’t too relaxed. So maybe don’t put too much responsibility on a mother’s stress level.”

    And to the people who tell you anything along the lines of “oh man, you aren’t going to want kids so much when you have one!” I like to say, “Oh cool, if you don’t like your kids can I have one of them?”

Read more comments

Join the Conversation