It can be really hard to know what to do to support a friend going through IVF. If you haven’t been through the process yourself, it’s difficult to understand what support a friend may need. I find many people avoid being too involved because they don’t want to upset their friend or put too much pressure on them. However, I often hear from women how upset they feel that none of their friends have offered any support and this can feel isolating.
Keep in mind, that if someone has told you they are going through IVF, they most likely consider you a valuable friend. Many people (couples, singles and families) go through IVF without telling anyone often due to fear of failure.
The most important thing to remember after someone has told you they are going through IVF is, doing or saying nothing can never be better than doing or saying the wrong thing with the right intentions.
A few ways you can support a friend during IVF
- get informed – find out what your friend will be going through and what dates are important. Websites for the fertility groups are helpful – Queensland Fertility Group, Monash or City Fertility
- be curiously interested
- ask how they’re feeling
- ask about important dates
- offer to be there for them to just listen
- send an encouraging text message on important dates like egg pick up, transfer day and the day of the blood test
- ask your friend what support they need if you’re unsure
- be the reasoning voice when they tell you they read on an online forum that said eating 5 pineapple cores after transfer improves implantation (talking to your specialist about baby aspirin would be a better idea)
In the instance of your friend receiving bad news through their IVF cycle, including a lower number of eggs collected than expected, the delay of transfer due to over stimulation, a reduced number of fertilised eggs, embryos not growing or the final result of a negative blood test, offer them your support. Just give them a giant hug and listen.
I often find the offer of food very helpful too ;-)
It’s a really tough journey and they’ll be so grateful to have you apart it!