SUMMARY. The individual or couple being treated for infertility is emotionally connected to a larger family and social unit which may also feel the sting of infertility. Wanting to help, they often fail because of a lack of understanding of the many losses which accompany infertility, the difficulty in dealing with another's pain, sexual connotations of infertility, and differences in personalities. The authors briefly examine the emotional needs of infertility patients and then identify ways family and friends can provide support.