Supporting a Friend Having Trouble Getting Pregnant

Updated on July 18, 2011
T.B. asks from Bloomington, IN
10 answers

My best friend and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for the past year and a half. This spring, she found out she has hyperactive thyroid. She and her Dr. have been working on that and now her Dr. wants her to try for 3 months before putting her on fertility meds. She calls me and cries because she wants to get pregnant so bad. Here I am with 2 boys screaming, laughing, talking in the background, that I had no trouble concieving, and I just feel horrible for her! I just keep telling her everything will work out and I'm here if she needs anything. I just feel at a loss because I don't know what, if anything, I can do for/say to her. She told me she's been watching TLC's Baby Story and I told her she has to stop that! That's just sheer torture! Any suggestions for a friend that just trying to be supportive?

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answers from Chicago on

I couldn't have children with my (second husband). Sometimes things just don't work out. I would be there for her, remind her of other ways to have children and that adoption is available. Sometimes people just need to vent. She may have moments where she is sobbing her brains out (I know I did) and it clearly didn't work out for me. I hope it does for her! But in the meantime do not feel guilty, that is how life is sadly.I still cannot believe it sometimes myself, but the most supportive were the people who just let me cry about it.

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answers from New York on

Just listen and be there for her. There's really nothing you can say or do that will ease her pain, so just be patient. When she does get pregnant, celebrate with her.

A dear friend of mine has struggled with infertility for many years and lost her only pregnancy aftr 3 months. It was heart-wrenching and nothing we said or did made it better. Years later she told me the fact that we all just listened and "let her be sad" was the best thing. No one tried to minimize their struggles with fertility or continually reassure her that they would get pregnant, which never happened for them.

The only thing I can suggest is to be really aware of complaining about your children in front of her. My friend has shared with me over again how painful it is to hear people complain about their children because in her mind she wants to scream "You HAVE children! Be thankful and stop complaining."

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answers from Dallas on

What you are doing is great. Just be a shoulder to cry on. I dealt with infertility for over 7 yrs. I would watch that same show and I would also watch She's Having A Baby with Kevin Bacon. I would cry and in a strange way it was therapeutic. Funny, I haven't watched either since we had our son. What hurt the most was when friends/relatives would go on and on about the cute things their kids were saying or doing. I wanted to hear it but deep down, it was really hard. As well as the griping and complaining about their kids or how tough being a mom can be. If she gets some tough news, a "thinking of you" card would be nice but just being there to listen is really the best thing you can do!

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answers from Seattle on

As a woman who has been having trouble TTC...there isn't really anything you can do except listen and you are already doing that. If you want to be a super awesome friend, have some one sit your kids if you can, and take her out for one of her favorite non-baby related activities. Stress can be hindering her ability to concieve because it effects hormone levels. Remind her that there is a wonderful life out side of the world of constant doctor visits, temp. charts, calendar days, and baby making. She will be healthier and you both might enjoy the girl time.

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answers from Chicago on

Conitnue to be supportive and just listen more than anything. I have a friend in the same boat. She should not be watching TLC. Also, encourage her that regardless of the thryroid issue she should still be able to conceive if that's the only trouble. Thyroid issues can be treated and successful pregnancies happen. I know :)

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answers from Houston on

It took my friend 6 years to get pregnant, my sister 4 years. Now, they both have multiple children. I would just tell her to hang tight that she will eventually get her chance. Just be there to listen and maybe gt her out so she can focus on other things for a while.

I know I have a jaded point of view since my little brother is adopted, but if a person can't get pregnant, if they really want to be a parent or involved in a child's life there is always adoption or even being in the big brother/big sister program to be a mentor to kids.

Being a parent is more than dna or experiencing pregnancy for 9 months. Obviously, you don't need to tell her that, it's just my own opinion!

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answers from Dallas on

Once her thyroid is fixed, she should able to get pregnant, I'm sure. It can't that long to fix a thyroid, can it? Okay, I just googled "hyperactive thyroid," and it said, "Hormonal imbalance triggers hypothyroidism in women." I am having some health issues (am desperately trying to self-diagnose!), and WE are our best advocates - NOT our doctors!! Have your friend tell her doctor she wants to be tested for a hormonal imbalance! That could also affect fertility. One more thought - since she will be having her blood drawn again for hormonal imbalance, she should also request bloodwork for a Celiac panel. These tests measure the immune system’s response to gluten in the food you eat. These are the Celiac panel tests:
tTG-IgA or tissue transglutaminase-IgA
AGA-IgG or Antigliadin IgG
AGA-IgA or Antigliadin IGA
Total IGA

The presence of tTG antibodies is highly suggestive of Celiac Disease, while AGA can be elevated also in cases of wheat allergy.

I am suggesting a Celiac panel, b/c if your friend has Celiac Disease (or even a problem with gluten sensitivity), that can also affect her fertility. Have her google symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women, and symptoms of gluten sensitivity/Celiac in women. She needs to be her own, proactive advocate and do her own research and request a lot of blood testing, because her doctor is not going to think of all of these things! Best of luck to your friend!

One more thought - if your friend discovers she does have symptoms of a gluten problem in women, and her bloodwork comes back negative - it is often a false negative. My bloodwork for gluten testing came back negative, so I decided to take it a step further and have my stool analyzed ( Stool analysis is more sensitive/accurate than bloodwork. Some people/doctors will say that an endoscopy is the most accurate, but I heard that a stool analysis is the most accurate.

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answers from Columbus on

My husband and I tried for 11 years to conceive and it never happened. I didn't have anyone to talk to after my cousin passed away seven years ago. Every one just told me to relax and be patient my time would come. Really? You know that? What you are doing is great, just listen! Don't tell her you understand because you can't no matter how much you empathize. Just be there for her. If she pulls away some because seeing you with your gorgeous boys is too hard try to understand. Sometimes seeing our friends with their kids is so hard for infertile women. I would become physically ill whenever another friend got pregnant. Now that I have my son, I realize how.much I missed because seeing pregnant women or women with babies was just too painful, but when you're going through it that doesn't even compute. Just be there for her no matter what she needs! Sounds like you are a good friend, one who is hurtimg for her a lot. Best wishes to you both.



answers from Terre Haute on

From your friends perspective :
Don't ignore her
Don't say how easy it was for you to conceive
dont joke and say maybe youre doing it wrong

Just listen and say I am sorry - don't say you understand because you don't
My friend seemed to wash her clothes with his and I could not get pregnant
I was blessed to be able to adopt
Perhaps encourage her to adopt if things don't work out by this time next year. otherwise just be a good friend she can call - listen and be encouraging and supportive just being there to listen makes all the difference



answers from Muncie on

Refer her to Stepping Stones Infertility Ministry. It is sponsored by Bethany Christian Services. It is a great web resourse that has encouragement and practicle articles. The send out a newsletter ever two months too.
You could also get her the book "When the cradle is empty" It gives a lot of information about infertility and the things you can do.