Anonymous

Seeking advice from anyone who has struggled or knows someone who has struggled getting pregnant.

My friend has been trying to conceive for over a year now. Within that time she found out that she has PCOS. They’re trying another type of drug to help her ovulate, but it sounds like she’ll need to go through IVF. My heart just breaks for her, and I feel so helpless. I can’t even imagine how her and her husband feel. We recently found out that another one of our couple friends is pregnant (worked on the first try). She’s happy for them, but obviously really sad and jealous. Any advice on how I can help her or comfort her?

  • Lynn
    Feb 18

    Treat her normal. When she goes through ivf, bring her some food. Invite her to the movies. Normal.

  • Julie
    Feb 18

    I went through 4 rounds of IVF (the first 3 failed). I never wanted any special or extra treatment, I mostly just wanted to be left alone and given time to deal with what I was going through. It’s a pretty private time and you already have enough doctors and nurses up in your business and don’t really want a the extra attention on top of it (at least I didn’t). Most IVF rounds don’t seem to be successful on the first try (something I wasn’t aware of). If I were you, I’d let her know you’re there for her but don’t go over the top. Things that help relax her and get her mind off what her body is doing through maybe. Also, if her reproductive endocrinologist doesn’t suggest acupuncture, I’d suggest it. I credit it with helping me relax and focus on myself and finally giving me my successful 4th round.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 18

    Has her husband had his sperm count checked?

  • Anonymous
    Feb 18

    👆 If you’ve gotten to the point of undergoing IVF, then yes, doctors have covered all their bases by checking sperm counts as well. I also went through IVF and agree with the above poster - treat her normal and allow her to discuss it when she’s ready. Every time it fails, it’s a punch in the gut and well-meaning people who ask how it’s going forces you to open up and discuss hard news over and over again. Drop off a meal, have a dinner out, take her for a manicure.

  • Ivy
    Feb 18

    My sister has been trying for years. She also has PCOS and was taking hormones to help her ovulate. Every time, she just grew cysts and it was frustrating, painful, full of false hope. What she needed from me, was a safe person to rant to. Someone she could come to and be angry and sad without judgment.

  • Tiana
    Feb 18

    Don’t give advice. Even it’s well meaning. Just treat her as if it’s not happening. If an open ended question such as, “how are you feeling” elicits her bringing it up, then talk about it. Otherwise any version of “are you pregnant? How long have you been trying now? How many failures have you had? I heard that (insert random therapy) worked for so and so, is unwelcome, and intrusive.

  • Lynn
    Feb 19

    No pat on the backs. No knowing and sad looks. Normal. Everyone just wants to be treated normally.

  • Theresa
    Feb 19

    I have PCOS and was trying to conceive for about 9 years. I was full of anxiety and stress, well obsessing about it. I had to change my mind cause I wanted to be happy if I wasn’t going to be a momma. Sure enough I did find happiness. I went on the Keto diet and lost 75 pounds and sure enough I ended up pregnant. Today I am the mother of a 10 month old and I’ve never felt so full.

  • Erin
    Feb 21

    I struggled for 3 years with infertility, and after a first failed IVF and being given about a 10% chance of ever conceiving a child, I now have an almost 2 year old daughter from a second IVF. And here are my 2 cents: Definitely don't ask/tell her things like: "have you tried X" or "has he had his sperm count checked" or "I heard if you just relax and stop trying so hard it'll happen" or "there's always adoption" or "are you pregnant?" Also infertility can be very isolating, so try just be normal and not treat it like a dirty little secret (not that you would). Like others said just let her know you care and are there if she needs someone to talk to, go to the movies with, etc., and otherwise just be your normal self. You are clearly a good and supportive friend, so just keep being you!