Emotional Difficulties Affecting ivf Patients
Infertility is a medical problem that affects many emotional aspects of a person's life, from their feelings about themselves to relationships with others and views on life. Additionally, infertility can cause difficulties in relationships and the ability to maintain daily routines, study, and advance careers.
Support groups and meetings can reduce the sense of isolation and provide an opportunity to learn from others who experience infertility as well. Individual and couples counseling provides a chance to talk with a professional to help clarify feelings and identify coping mechanisms. Hadassah Mt. Scopus provides a service for women undergoing ferility treatment at the Mind Body Fertility Center (Rimon). At Ein Kerem, we offer support groups and individual sessions.
Distress Following Infertility
A man or woman's inability to have children naturally often triggers stress. Infertility can be perceived as a physical defect which causes grief, depression, and feelings of guilt alongside feelings that doubt one's self-worth. The medical treatment offered within the framework of In-Vitro Fertilization treatments (ivf
) encourages patients, but distress can return in response to prolonged treatments or mental and physical efforts they demand.
Spousal Responses to ivf
Identifying infertility among either the man or woman can invoke feelings of guilt, or alternatively a sense of disappointment from the partner. When the medical treatment requires sperm or egg donation, a situation can develop in regards to consent to treatment or emotional difficulty dealing with its implications.
Emotional Difficulties Associated with Treatment:
- uncertainty about treatment duration and chances of success
- uncertainty about type of treatment required
- gynecological examinations, surgical treatments and medications are often accompanied by discomfort, physical pain, and different side effects
- stress and anxiety.
- disruption of daily life and may cause
- difficulties with employment of the women
Research and clinical experience show that apart from individual therapy, group therapy can help the couple or individual cope with their condition. This may relieve emotional stress, help patients make decisions about treatment and improve their overall quality of life.The IVF Clinic works with the hospital's Psychiatric Clinic to provide support groups for couples and single women in our care.
The Goals of Support Groups
- to facilitate an encounter with people experiencing similar experiences; to receive support and exposure to new approaches and ways of coping.
- to deal with the differences in approach and perception between the couple regarding the fertility problem and in relation to the treatment proposed.
- to clarify and improve communication difficulties between the couple themselves and between them and their families and friends.
- to clarify difficulties created by the treatment within the daily routine and at work, and discuss ways to overcome them.
- to expand knowledge about infertility treatments and through these allow investigation of various questions about the treatment in order to reduce feelings of non-clarity and uncertainty.