Clara asks :

Hi Lucy, 

A close friend of mine has been trying for a baby with IVF. She has tried a few rounds and unfortunately hasn't been successful and due to the cost is currently trying her last round. It is coming up with the date to try a pregnancy test and see if it has been successful however she has told me that she would normally be due on and can feel period pains. How can I support her through this time? I feel telling her to 'think positive' and 'relax' is probably the last thing she wants to hear.


Hi Clara,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

I would suggest taking her lead on this one. If she wants to talk about it- whatever the result- then let her, she needs to feel that she can talk to you about all aspects of this process. However if she clearly doesn't want to discuss it then it might be best to let her decide when to broach the subject.

It might be wise not to ask her every day in the lead up if she has got her period or if she has taken a test. She may be getting pressure from elsewhere, so if she doesn't feel that from you, then she is likely to come to you first.

Perhaps you could do some reading around the subject-if it's painful for her to talk about, it may not help if you are constantly asking her to clarify things. You could read around the process and the experiences people have had so you can have a better appreciation of what she is going through.

She may suffer from mood swings, which is a direct result of the hormonal changes she is going through. If she does snap or shout, try to remember that it probably isn't a problem between you two; she may just be unsure how to handle her ever changing feelings.

If you have children or you know someone who has just given birth try to be sensitive when discussing it. She may feel resentful of those who have found it easy to get pregnant or those who are moaning about motherhood when all she wants is to have a baby.

If she is feeling down, make sure that you are there if her partner can't make and appointment, if she needs to talk or she wants some company. She may need someone to help her take her mind off things so consider places you could go together to take her mind off things.

Remember that everyone's experience of pregnancy is different so even if you've had also had IVF or a complicated pregnancy, it won't be the same as what she's gone through so be mindful that her journey is her own.

If you are unsure of what to say to her- then simply being there as a sounding board and a shoulder to cry on might just be enough.

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