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Infertility: Psychological Aspects

Being unsuccessful with conception or undergoing fertility diagnosis and treatment can create a roller-coaster of emotions from anger to relief, happiness to sadness, including feelings of shame and failure.  These challenging emotions can lead to depression, anxiety and other psychological problems, as well as strained interpersonal relationships. 

Psychotherapy for the psychological aspects of infertility has been known to assist people with:

  • recognizing and working through feelings of
    • disappointment, deprivation, and loss
  • fostering the development of self-esteem 
  • increasing a sense of control over one’s life
  • coping with the unexpected effects on relationships with others
  • identifying and building on strengths (individual and couple) 
  • facilitating communication between partners

Most importantly, psychotherapeutic intervention provides a safe and understanding place where people can discuss the more emotionally challenging aspects of their medical treatment (including the decision to refrain from undergoing such procedures), and move forward with their life with acceptance and peace of mind. 

While we know that stress does not cause infertility, we do know that reducing stress is important while undergoing infertility treatment.  Having someone to talk to and process your feelings during this trying time will likely help reduce your current stressors as well as help prevent a multitude of other symptoms from developing.

If you achieve pregnancy, you may also need the psychological support well after the delivery of your much hoped for child.  Having a well-established  psychotherapeutic rapport before the birth of your child will likely help you navigate the issues that may arise when raising your child conceived through assisted reproductive technology.