IVF Babble

How to Respond to Nosey TTC Questions

By Jennifer Jay Palumbo

As we creep closer to the festive holidays, it’s time to prepare ourselves for those must do family parties, where you inevitably end up enduring annoying questions from your Aunt Joanna on why you don’t have kids yet….

When you’re trying to conceive and not conceiving as quickly as you had hoped (or as easily as they told you in grade school), people asking questions that relate to your family-building goals can be uncomfortable. Whether it’s, “When are you guys going to have kids?” or “Why don’t you have kids yet?” or even, “What are you waiting for???” you may not know how to respond. Hopefully, I will lay out a few options that will get their nose OUT of your uterus!

The Plan To Keep Homicidal Hormones In Check

First, you should discuss it privately ahead of time on how you want to handle it. Do you want to be honest? Do you want to tell people to mind their own business? To avoid a potential future argument, you should ensure you’re on the same page.

Second, no matter how you want to handle any nosey questions, you should always have other topics, accomplishments, or even recent anecdotes you enjoy telling ready to go. It could be that you just got a promotion at work, that you’re taking a new yoga class that you’re loving or the funniest thing that happened on your vacation that you have to share. Having something else to pivot the conversation to can be helpful and remind you that you are more than your reproductive organs.

Also, while I think it’s only natural to try and be snarky (i.e., “I’ll have kids when you stop having them.” Or “I’ll get pregnant when men can get pregnant.”), people genuinely aren’t trying to be mean or hurtful. I know they may very well be hurting your feelings, but more often than not, it’s unintentional. If you feel comfortable, you can even use their insensitive question as an opportunity to educate them on why they might never want to ask anyone else ever again. Look at it as taking one for the fertility-challenged team! Something like, “Actually, we’re hoping to have children but are having a tough time.

To be honest, we know many people and couples in similar situations who aren’t as understanding and strong as us, so you may not want to ask that as they may not have the best reaction. I want you to remain living and unpunched.” Educational and honest with a dash of humor!

Some other stock answers that you can use are:

  • “Not yet, but please keep us in your thoughts.”
  • “No news yet, but it’s an eventual goal of ours.”
  • “We would love to have kids, but it hasn’t been as easy as we had hoped.”
  • “We are going through fertility treatment right now. I could use some support.”
  • “That’s a personal question I’d prefer not to discuss. I love your outfit, by the way. Have you lost weight?”
  • “It’s something we plan on doing. We’ll let you know when it happens. Thanks.”
  • “I’d prefer not to talk about that topic as I tend to get a slew of unwarranted advice.”
  • “We’ve been diagnosed with infertility issues, so it probably best not to ask as it may be a while before we have any news to update you with.”

A side note is whenever people have confided in me that they are having fertility issues, one of the first things I say is, “Just so you’re aware, I’m not going to ask you about this ever again, so if you want to talk about it, please let me know.” I say this because when I was trying to conceive, I HATED people asking, “How did this cycle go?” or “What did the doctor say?” or “Anything yet?” So this is why I suggest that no matter how you answer, you give them clear direction on whether or not you’d like them to check in with you or never ask you about it again.

The Takeaway

One of the biggest things to remember is YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG. One in eight deals with infertility; it is a medical diagnosis, so no matter how you respond or what you say or don’t say, please remember not to take them asking as any commentary on you, your relationship, or your fabulousness.

Related content:

When do you think you will start a family? Sonia gives us the perfect reply to this annoying question





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