Female Infertility Has Many Causes


Female Infertility pic
Female Infertility
Image: web.stanford.edu

A practicing psychotherapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Robin Ohringer taught for 12 years as an adjunct associate professor at Simmons College School of Social Work. Dr. Robin Ohringer works with women experiencing infertility issues.

Infertility affects one couple in six and is diagnosed when a couple has been actively trying to have a baby for more than one year. If the female is over 35 years of age, it is called infertility after six months of trying. Within the United States, about 10 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 44 have infertility issues.

Female infertility can be caused by various factors, including problems with ovulation, the cervix, the fallopian tubes, or the uterus. The major factors that affect ovulation can be age, weight, a tumor or cyst, alcohol or drug use, a hormone or thyroid gland imbalance, excessive exercise, and eating disorders. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the leading cause of infertility in women, creates hormonal changes that prevent successful pregnancies.

Women over 35 have more fertility issues because the body reduces the production of eggs as it gets older. Not only are the eggs smaller in size, but they also are released less frequently, and are not as healthy. About one-third of couples where the female is over 35 have trouble conceiving.


Psychotherapeutic Treatment for Fertility Issues

Fertility Issues pic
Fertility Issues
Image: goodtherapy.org

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Robin Ohringer has worked for over four decades building an accomplished career as a psychotherapist. Operating out of her own private clinic, Robin Ohringer sees a client base composed almost entirely of adult women who are seeking help for issues such as infertility.

Fertility issues are a common occurrence across the globe, affecting between 10 and 15 percent of adult couples. For these individuals, the reality of infertility is often an emotional one. Those who cannot fulfill their desires to expand their families typically experience feelings of isolation, guilt, and depression. As a result, the relationship between spouses can become strained.

In the face of these issues, treatment options such as psychotherapy can prove instrumental to helping couples cope with the situation. One method is couples therapy, which will help the partners discuss the challenges and work through them so they may move forward. This type of treatment is especially crucial in cases where only one partner is experiencing fertility problems and anger has emerged in the relationship. Couples therapy can also reopen lines of communication between partners, thereby allowing them to make better decisions for their future together.

Another effective means of psychotherapeutic treatment for infertility is behavioral or support group sessions. Research has shown that women who participate for 10 weeks in such programs experience a dramatic reduction in anger and depression levels. Whether a couple chooses individual or group treatment, these avenues are crucial to helping them move past the negative emotions that come with the inability to have a child.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing pic
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Image: emdr.com

Dr. Robin Ohringer has maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for more than twenty-five years. Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on advanced training in a variety of treatment modalities, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Originally developed to address the lasting effects of trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing allows clients to think about and re-frame distressing memories. It centers on the model of adaptive information processing, or AIP, which holds that healthy functioning stems from successful experiences that prepare the brain to face new challenges. When a traumatic event occurs, its severity can interrupt this process and lead to psychological suffering.

EMDR allows the client to address the memories of this traumatic event by focusing on an external bilateral stimulus. This most often takes the form of horizontal eye tracking facilitated by the therapist, though some clients may respond better to similarly structured auditory stimuli or touching of the hands. While attending to this stimulus, the client can recall and aspects of the traumatic memory.

Many clients who have undergone EMDR have noted that this process gives rise to new insights about the memory. Negative self-directed thoughts and other maladaptive mental processes related to the memory give way to more adaptive thinking, and the client begins to heal. Some practitioners have likened this process to the removal of a foreign body from the skin, the lifting of which allows the body to heal itself.