Dealing with fertility challenges can weigh on our emotional wellbeing and put strain on relationships. Fertility treatment with a medical clinic can help increase the chances of conception. Working with a mental health professional can help to relieve mental stressors that can come with treatment, as well as feelings of loss and grief when such medical treatment does fail. In fact, many fertility clinics do require intended parents to have a psychological evaluation prior to treatment, and some will require therapy to continue throughout the course of treatment.
Because infertility can be due to a wide variety of reasons, working with a mental health professional may be a good way to talk through your stress and anxieties. Therapists that specialize in infertility are able to help intended parents come up with options and guide them through their next steps decisions. Intended parents are also able to work through their feelings of anger or guilt when only one partner is unable to conceive.
According to an article in the Human Reproduction Update in 2009, pregnancy rates were higher among couples who were not receiving assisted reproductive treatment (ART) received psychological treatment than those who were not undergoing therapy with a mental health professional. If you have decided that ART is for you, it is important to know that the success rates for ART are highly influenced by the early cessation of treatment. Reasons for this can include the anxiety and stress, as well as the high cost of treatment. Working with a therapist can help ease the emotional stresses to help you complete your treatment and get you pregnant.
If you have decided to take the next step to discuss your fertility issues with a therapist, please contact Donor Nexus for recommendations for qualified mental health providers in your area.
Katja Hämmerli, Hansjörg Znoj, Jürgen Barth; The efficacy of psychological interventions for infertile patients: a meta-analysis examining mental health and pregnancy rate. Hum Reprod Update 2009; 15 (3): 279-295. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmp002