In This Article
In This Article
Out of 100 couples in the United States, 10 to 18 are not able to conceive or have a successful delivery. The causes of infertility could be several but the emotional trauma experienced by the individual or the partners can be very intense and sometimes a little help from a therapist can go a long way in coping with the trauma.
Infertility is defined as:
Infertility can be caused by issues related to a woman, a man, or both. Common fertility problems are prevalent among men and women, almost equally.
Quite frequently, doctors cannot determine what is causing infertility.
Infertility is equally often experienced by men and women, but because male infertility is easier to diagnose, doctors typically begin to study the male first when they suspect infertility.
Female infertility is most frequently caused by problems in ovulation.
Typically, this means that a woman does not ovulate at all or does so only infrequently, leading to inability to get pregnant.
Most common infertility problems can be caused by:
Other common causes of infertility besides ovulation problems are blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and uterine or cervical causes such as benign tumors or endometriosis scarring.
In some cases, an infertile woman will show no symptoms besides the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, but some women report having irregular periods and menstrual cycles.
The most common causes of male infertility are:
Although men most commonly show no other signs or symptoms besides infertility, some men also report symptoms like:
Mental health and infertility
Mental health problems are common amongst couples trying to conceive.
Not only do couples start experiencing depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and anger as individuals, but they frequently also experience marital problems as well as sexual dysfunctions.
Familial, peer and societal pressures aside, a couple can get frustrated on their own if they’ve had plans to have children and thus, they may seek every remedy possible to get a solution.
However, despite tall claims of fertility remedies that work, when this does not happen, questions about plans to have children become more and more frequent. Anxiety and infertility end up creeping in a couple’s life and they end up cutting themself from everything else and focus on ways to become fertile.
As a result, infertile couples often isolate themselves socially. Many couples who have difficulties in conceiving report that they have lost their identity and feel inferior to fertile couples.
Many couples also report that infertility treatment causes them to feel stressed and anxious. Stress and trying to conceive are not mutually exclusive.
Infertility can affect the couple’s sex drive, turning the act of physical intimacy into a goal-based task where the end result needs to be conception. When the goal isn’t achieved despite efforts being made, frustration can set it which can eventually result in decreased sexual desire.
The impact on the financial condition and its subsequent effect on the partners’ mental health is another area. Infertility treatments take time and can be costly, which means that the financial woes add to the existing feelings of frustration.
Women affected by infertility report mental problems at a higher rate than similarly affected men, although mental problems are common among both sexes affected by infertility.
Anxiety and depression are reported as common consequences of infertility, but lately, scientists have also begun to wonder whether psychological problems could actually at least partly cause infertility.
For example, recent studies have reported that women diagnosed with depression are twice as likely to be diagnosed with infertility later on than those without the diagnosis of depression. One reason behind this might be that regulation of the luteinizing hormone (responsible for ovulation) is often abnormal in women who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Heightened stress levels commonly reported in depressed individuals might also contribute to infertility.
Various types of infertility treatments are available for women and men.
Some couples who are experiencing symptoms of infertility often look up on the internet for natural remedies for infertility or infertility help. However, for couples undergoing problems conceiving, it is best to seek the help of reproductive therapist or expert treatment of infertility.
Usually, the treatment is started with the least invasive methods.
For example, when it comes to treatment for infertility in females, a medication that helps them ovulate may be used. If the infertility is caused by blocked fallopian tubes, surgery might be needed.
Both sexes might need antibiotics if infertility is caused by an underlying infection such as chlamydia.
In men, medication can be used to treat erectile dysfunctions or hormonal problems. Just like with women, surgery might be needed. For example, it can be used to reverse a prior vasectomy. A varicocele can also be surgically corrected, or if a man has no or very little sperm, it can be taken directly from testicles.
When a couple experiences difficulty getting pregnant they can also choose to be treated with assisted reproductive technology (ART). Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is commonly used when infertility is caused by factors related to a male.
In this method, sperm is placed inside the woman's uterus.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) first collects sperm and eggs, combines the two, and allows the now fertilized egg to grow for a few days. Then, the embryo is placed in the uterus. It is widely accepted as the best infertility treatment for couples struggling with fertility problems.
An infertility therapist may give a couple or an individual short-term therapy that aims to teach them better coping skills and helps them deal with stress before and during infertility treatments. It would be helpful to look up on the internet for infertility counseling near me or treatment options for infertility in my area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a great way to help individuals and couples struggling with depression and anxiety. It shows the client how to change false beliefs and negative thoughts that contribute to their depressed mood.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy
Stress is common amongst couples suffering from infertility or struggling with fertility problems.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is excellent for stress reduction and uses such methods as meditation and deep breathing to help a client deal with stress surrounding fertility issues.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy takes a holistic approach to healing. It believes that the trauma of infertility should be healed via the body and the mind.
This approach for management of infertility believes that we carry stress and pain in our bodies and that these things must be released before we can heal our minds.
This is a great therapy for women who have undergone numerous infertility treatments and whose bodies as well as minds need healing.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Not every couple who dreams about a child can be helped with conception problems. Dealing with infertility grief is not easy.
ACT is a great therapy for those who must accept that their dream may not become reality, which, at times, leads to problems in a marriage.
With the help of ACT therapist, a couple can open up to other options such as adoption and move beyond the realm of how to become fertile or dealing with infertility issues.
Couples therapy or family therapy can also help.
If a person suffers from mental disorders such as anxiety or depression due to infertility, health insurances typically cover most or all of the treatment provided by a licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist or a mental health counselor.
If a person does not carry health insurance, the fee for a 45-60 min session with a therapist costs typically between $60-$100. Some providers offer sliding scales for their low-income clients.