Chronic Infertility / Fertility Issues
If you are dealing with primary infertility (inability to have a baby) or secondary infertility (inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, after the birth of one or more children), you might be experiencing higher levels of anxiety, depression, and/or stress. Some people reported this heartache being as similar to those who have been diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.
About 5% of couples in the developed world experience some type of infertility issue. From the ones dealing with infertility, almost half of the women (and 15% of the men) reported that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives.
For men, there is even a higher stigma of being infertile, and men could further suffer from low self-esteem, guilt, shame, and depression, as women do.
Signs and symptoms of suffering when going through infertility issues
The distressing emotions of going through infertility issues are common to those who are grieving any significant loss (losing your ability to procreate).
These symptoms are:
- Anxiety-related sexual dysfunction
- Your relationship with your partner may suffer
- Your relationship with family and colleagues may suffer
- Diminished social interaction with pregnant friends or family with children
It is necessary to have a psychologist to help you go through your infertility issues and help you process the emotional pain, grief, or other symptoms, which may be connected to pains of the past and uncertainties of the future.
Causes of infertility
Almost all cases of infertility are overwhelmingly physiological and the infertility issue itself can be exacerbated by the physical (hormonal injections, or other treatments) and emotional rigors of the treatment itself. There are some studies connecting infertility to medication side effects or money worries.
How I treat individuals/couples dealing with infertility issues
I often use an integrative approach to treat people going through fertility issues. I use techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as psychotherapy, Mindfulness, ACT, EFT, Gottman Therapy, and other types of therapy I’ve trained on and maybe useful to the treatment. I provide a non-judgmental environment where patients can find support and candidness to be open about their most inner feelings and thoughts. I provide support throughout the fertility treatment and during pregnancy and after birth for the mother, father, and family (if necessary). I help patients to better their sleep patterns, and provide information on how to manage fatigue, reduce stress, deal with depression anxiety, and improve communication with each other and other people. I help individuals and couples to increase coping strategies and provide help with making decisions.
I also provide support and help couples make the difficult decision to stop seeking fertility treatment. Often times one partner wants to stop trying, as the other wants to continue, which can cause great strain on the relationship. Open discussions of options for the family/couple are highly encouraged in session.
Typical outcomes of infertility issues psychological treatment
After completing treatment, patients can expect to move to a healthier level of functioning and acceptance. People who have completed treatment reported higher levels of wellbeing and more life satisfaction.
FAQ about fertility/infertility issues
Since individuals/couples come to treatment in different times of their fertility treatment, the duration of treatment will depend on what stage they are (beginning, middle, end of fertility treatment). Either way, one can expect seeing benefits of therapy in the first couple months of treatment.
At the beginning of treatment, people will attend sessions weekly. Later, patients may attend sessions every other week or even once a month for check ins.
Yes. Individuals can be seen by a therapist to treat infertility issues, even when their partners are not in agreement to be treated by a therapist. At times, it will be necessary to have family sessions to help with mutual understand and commitment to one another in moving towards healing.
Yes. I welcome transgender, gays, and lesbians (individuals and couples) who are dealing with infertility issues. I have experience in treating this population before, during, and after fertility treatment.
Consult with a psychologist to get help with your infertility issues right away. Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove uses many techniques to treat individuals and couples who are suffering from stressors caused by infertility.
Call (813) 613-8587 now for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.
Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove