Fertility treatments can wreak havoc on the sanest most balanced of people. Having a kind and sensitive friend is a huge help during this time. Here are some tips:

1. Be supportive of her decisions but try not to give false hope

Very often, people going through fertility treatments will have people say to them "you'll get there one day" or "you'll get pregnant soon i know it". If they don't "get pregnant soon" they can then feel like a failure. Try instead to keep things focused on the present - offer to go with her to her IVF appointments or meet her for tea and cake afterwards. If IVF doesn't work and she decides to try other pathways to become a mother, support these decisions.

2. Steer conversations away from baby talk

If you are the only one in your circle of friends who she has told about trying to get pregnant, you may find yourself needing to guide the conversation away from pregnancy or baby topics. For instance if your group of friends are talking about these topics, try to diplomatically steer the conversation towards other topics of conversation.

3. Validate her feelings

If you haven't been through IVF, you can't really understand what a harrowing process it can be. So instead of saying "I understand", try being real and saying, "that must be so frustrating," or a plain old "that sucks" will suffice.

4. Really listen to her

Active listening is something that many of us find hard to do. Usually we (inadvertently) overlap other people's sentences, needing to inject our thoughts and opinions. Try holding back this impulse and instead really listen to what your friend is telling you. Ask her more questions when she's finished talking instead of giving your opinion on the situation.

5. Distract her

Going through IVF is like going through one long period of being in limbo. Try to take your friend's mind off things by suggesting meeting for a swim and coffee or a movie. This is especially important if she is going through the Two Week Wait while she waits to see if she is pregnant.

Have you or a friend gone through IVF? Is there anything you've learnt that you'd like to pass on to other people?