What to Say to People Who Keep Asking If You’re Pregnant Yet

What do you tell people, after you're disappointed by a negative pregnancy test? (image by Luke Galoppin, flickr)

What do you tell people, after you’re disappointed by a negative pregnancy test? (image by Luke Galoppin, flickr)

“Are you pregnant yet?” is the most frustrating question! Here’s what to say to people who keep asking if you’re pregnant – or about your fertility life, infertility treatments, or how you’re coping with infertility as a couple?

I know I am…so I created a short list of ways to deal with people who keep asking how my baby-making efforts are going.

Before the tips, a quip: “If we can laugh at it, we can live with it.” ~ Erma Bombeck.

That’s the first way to deal with people who keep bringing up your pregnancy-to-be: find ways to laugh about it! For more tips on handling difficult questions, read Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life – because this is a question of setting and sticking to your boundaries.

And, here are a few things to say to extremely curious (perhaps nosy) people…

Are You Pregnant Yet? What to Say to People Who Keep Asking

1. Identify the chronic “askers.” I have one friend in particular who keeps asking how my marriage is affected by infertility, what the results of my last fertility test was, and what my next step will be. She means well, she’s a nice woman, and her kids are the center of her life so she’s coming from the “to be fulfilled, women must have babies” perspective. But, all she asks me about are test results, marriage and infertility, getting pregnant – and it’s beginning to make me nuts! So when I see her, I’m prepared to be asked about my pregnancy journey.

2. Ask your family and friends to wait for pregnancy updates. Once you figure out who the chronic askers are, you have two options: 1) ask her to wait for your updates regarding getting pregnant, in vitro fertilization, adopting a baby, etc; or 2) avoid them as much as possible. I suggest telling people that you’d feel most comfortable if you could update them when you have news, and gently ask them to hold their questions about getting pregnant until you bring it up.

3. Don’t explain yourself to friends and family who keep asking if you’re pregnant. If someone asks if you’re pregnant yet, just say, “Nope!” and leave it at that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation – not even your sister, mother, or favorite auntie. Learn to live with the momentary silence that will follow. Even better: keep a list of conversation topics that change the subject up your sleeve.

4. Be honest with your people. Your friends, family, and colleagues don’t know how you want to cope with infertility unless you tell them. Do you want them to ask every six months, every six days, or never? Do you need a shoulder to cry on, a bright optimistic outlook, or as much infertility information as possible? Don’t expect them to guess what you need, and then be angry or frustrated if they don’t do the right them. Tell them.

5. Balance talking about infertility with focusing on other aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong – talking about infertility is better than hiding or avoiding it. But, who wants to talk about it constantly? Not me, which is partly why I avoid fertility and pregnancy message boards. And yet, I created and maintain Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility! I’ve found that this blog helps me deal with the possibility of a childfree life…if you want to be happy, then you need to figure out how much time and effort you need to spend talking about getting pregnant, and how much energy you want to put towards living your best life apart from having kids. Find your balance, my friend.

If you’re dreading family gatherings, read How to Survive Christmas When You Can’t Get Pregnant.

What about you – are you frustrated with friends and family who keep asking if you’re pregnant yet? I welcome your comments below!

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6 thoughts on “What to Say to People Who Keep Asking If You’re Pregnant Yet”

  1. I’d be fine if someone asked me if our childless state is by choice or fate, but that question would hurt other women in my situation (can’t get pregnant). So, it’s better not to say anything at all, unless you know the woman well. It’s not worth the risk of offending her!

    People who keep asking if you’re pregnant aren’t deliberately trying to be offensive or bothersome…they’re just curious, and they assume that you will get pregnant. Most women, after all, do have children.

  2. I never asked people about infertility – not because it’s not my business, not because I don’t care – but because maybe they are using birth control. How would I know if their child-less state is a result of choice or fate?

  3. Dear Beverly,
    don’t forget you do not owe anyone an explanation. Next time they ask, just tell them: “I’ve already got kids”. I do it all the time with people I don’t care about and it’s so much fun to see how they think they know the truth about your private life…

  4. I work in a hair salon and i get this question ALL THE TIME! I get it from co workers and clients and im so sick of it! im starting to get short with my answers and have been pretty harsh with my “NO not yet’s” lol. All i hear is ” Any news?” and i want to say WTF do you think? I would tell you it if i had some but i don’t. Would you like to talk about my struggle now? or how my grandpa died ? lol grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comment, Ali — it’s great to hear that I’m not alone!

    I like your idea of letting people know that you and your husband would like to handle your journey towards pregnancy alone. It may be that our friends and family just don’t know how difficult it is when they keep asking. The care for us and want the best for us…and don’t realize that letting it alone is one of the best ways to help.

    I wish you all the best…and may you be part of the miracle of life in a whole new way — soon after your family planning starts!


  6. Dear Laurie,

    my God, you are absolutely right. I know exactly how it feels. Sometimes it’s as if people were more focused on your “problem” than yourself. I even think some of these so-called “friends” use you to feel better about their own lives because, even though they may have children, they may not be happy or satisfied. It gives them a reason to think: “I’d better not complain about anything because that poor one cannot have children” Sad but true. The last time someone asked me if I had started my fertility treatment, she told me I didn’t have to answer if I didn’t want to, but I guess people should first think about what they’re entitled to ask or to know. I just told her that, from now on, my husband and I are going to handle the situation ourselves without involving anyone else. This I am going through now has taught me not only how lucky we all are to be alive and be part of the miracle of life, but also, to focus on other aspects of life (studying, learning, achieving things) and “giving birth” to other things as long as we can’t give birth to a baby. It’s nice to know that people mean well, but when they keep asking it feels as if they wanted to move into your bedroom to see what’s going on. For us it’s nothing but our family planning. It’s something we will (hopefully) achieve one day and others just happen to have achieved earlier. How would they feel if we asked: are you already trying? has it worked this month? are you going to try again? is it going to be tonight?….
    I wish you the best and I hope God will listen to what your heart desires,