Psychological Pain and Infertility

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

 

As a privately practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Robin Ohringer offers help with such mental health issues as anxiety, depression, and relationship stress. Dr. Robin Ohringer has welcomed many patients who struggle with these issues as a result of infertility and the treatment thereof.

Approximately 5 percent of couples living in developed countries experience infertility at some point during their relationships, and the vast majority of these challenges have physical origins. The psychological implications, however, are profound. Studies have shown that these experiences are as upsetting as a life-threatening physical illness, while 50 percent of women interviewed in one particular study call infertility treatment the most upsetting event in their lives thus far.

For many, infertility can manifest much like grief as those experiencing it progress through shock, depression, and anger. The underlying pain may also translate itself into relationship problems, which may be exacerbated by the high costs of fertility treatments. Negative outcomes of treatment can increase depression, though even positive outcomes can cause anxiety about the woman’s ability to carry a baby to term.

Fortunately, support groups and psychotherapy have proven successful at mitigating many of these symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy have emerged as particularly successful techniques, as have supplemental relaxation and mindfulness techniques. A qualified psychotherapist can help individuals and couples to find a treatment program that is most appropriate.