Infertility and Psychology

Submitted by on Thu, 24/10/2013 17:10 pm

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“Stress evaluation that precedes or is concurrent to fertility treatment is suggested.” This is the conclusion from the following paper published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

Research results and conclusions: Psychological factors such as depression, state-anxiety, and stress-induced changes in heart rate and cortisol are predictive of a decreased probability of achieving a viable pregnancy. A couple that is trying to conceive will undoubtedly experience feelings of frustration and disappointment if a pregnancy is not easily achieved. However, if the difficulties progress and the man and or woman are labelled as having fertility problems, then this may result in a severe insult to self-esteem, body image, and self-assessed masculinity or femininity. Three types of relationships have been hypothesized between psychological factors and infertility. These include: (1) psychological factors are risk factors of subsequent infertility; (2) the experience of the diagnosis and treatment of infertility causes subsequent psychological distress; (3) a reciprocal relationship exists between psychological factors and infertility. The evidence for these three relationships is reviewed and an alternative approach to the treatment of infertility including stress evaluation that precedes or is concurrent to fertility treatment is suggested..

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology – Volume 117, Issue 2 , Pages 126-131, 1 December 2004
J. Cwikel, Y. Gidron, E. Sheiner
Resource link: http://www.ejog.org/article/S0301-2115(04)00257-X/abstract


The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends acupuncture for infertility stress reduction (click to read ASRM infertility stress fact sheet).


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