Giving birth to a new born is considered very priceless by their proud mothers. The agony of not having a baby due to several constraints and hindrances proved to be very critical to a women’s health, emotionally and physically. Psychological effects of infertility include anxiety; depression, guilt, isolation, and relationship tension. These can be considered causes or as a result of infertility and often times can affect interventions or treatment to make pregnancy possible.
The problem of infertility is considered one of the hindrances that can affect women’s health and their social interactions comes along with it. In the United States, almost 10% of individuals in the reproductive age are affected by infertility and approximately 50 % of which comprised of couple seeking for possible treatment to make pregnancy possible. Aside from the psychological aspects, several factors which are associated with infertility in women include advancing age, endocrine dysfunction, increasing body mass index, and irregular and long menstrual cycle.
Women suffering from infertility problems have psychological stress indicators such as long existence of negative emotions during the period of trying to conceive, changes on their partner’s relationship, depressed moods, problems with concentration or memory, low self- esteem, and anxiety. Reported studies also indicate women with infertility problems were more susceptible to have depression, occurring on its first diagnosis. Emotional well being is also affected if the in-vitro fertilization procedures were unsuccessful (Burns and Grambsch, 2002).
Also, women with unknown organic cause of infertility would likely to develop a deeper depressive emotions, anxiety, and suppression of anger compared to women with known cause of infertility. However, the measure of the physiological aspects has not been associated with the process of in-vitro fertilization and infertility. Most of the time, women having infertility problems are willing to neglect or have a certain degree of tolerance to related risk factors just to conceive pregnancy and are mostly have less adverse on the risk as compared to their husband or partner.
The support of the husband or the partner plays a vital role in such a way that the desire of both for parenthood must have a common perspective. In this way, marital adjustment will take its part to ensure a healthy relationship. If the partner has a greater desire than the woman, this can bring emotional stress too such as depression. Other than the husband or the partner, the society also plays an important part on the woman with infertility problems. The perception of having less support other than the partner can have avoidance as a social or a defense mechanism.
If the attempts for conceptions are not successful, the absence of moral or any support coming from the society can also cause depressive emotions and symptoms. Though infertility can cause distinct psychological effects on women, several treatments are being practiced and applied to help conception possible. In general, there are two methods of treating infertility: the psychological treatment through counseling to achieve conception, and the in-vitro fertilization treatment process.
Both of which, some way or another, have adverse psychological effects on the mental state of a woman. The psychological treatment through counseling is one method on the treatment of infertility. This treatment of counseling can be conducted either during the process of natural conception, and/or during the process of the in-vitro fertilization. Furthermore, support from counseling has been significant to improve depression and anxiety to couples having fertility treatment.
Usually the treatment comprised of a ten-session treatment implying behavioral (cognitive) therapy. On related studies, 42% conceived pregnancies after completing the treatment for 6 months and these women have a relatively higher distress pretreatment compared to women who did not undergo counseling. The process of counseling usually takes place after the application of the in-vitro fertilization rather than before the conception or the pregnancy test.
The purpose of which is to help women to have a lesser degree of depression and anxiety. Women who conceived pregnancy after the process of in-vitro fertilization tend to have an improved self-esteem and a lesser degree of depression. Therefore, the psychological process of intervention through counseling will be more successful if applied to women with infertility problems during repeated or unsuccessful in-vitro treatment, absence of a partner and social support, and with a state of greater depression.
Medical intervention is another method and is commonly applied if the psychological fertility treatment or counseling has failed though the exposure to medication of a possible fetus if there is a conception should be avoided. The in-vitro fertilization treatment process is another method to achieve conception. This includes the introduction of certain medications to enhance the reproductive state of a woman to achieve conception. This process goes along with the counseling treatment during the period of conception to ensure a high probability of giving birth.
But the chemicals involved in the process also have a psychological association to the mental state of the woman. The manipulations of hormone to assist reproduction can have an effect on their psychological state, for instance the clomiphene citrate has been known to be associated with psychosomatic symptoms; the gonadotropin hormone is also associated with increased state of anxiety and depression (Eyal, Toren, Dor, Mester, and Rehavi , 1996). Aside from the side effects caused by the chemicals, the process also have an effect to those women who conceived after the treatment.
Some women showed intense muscle tension, and others have emotions of low self-esteem, self-efficacy, and a greater negative behavior as reaction to pregnancy-related stress compared to those women who conceived naturally. More over, women after giving birth through the process of in-vitro treatment have observed their infant as more temperamentally hard. This can be attributed also to the psychological effects to women who conceived because of the treatment.
Thus, even if the treatment is successful, support through counseling during the period of conception should be conducted so that the babies as well as the mothers may benefit through having a state of mental wellness. Common outcome in the in-vitro fertilization treatment process is having multiple births, occurring almost 35% on most cases. Reduction of embryo for multiple states of pregnancies has been proven emotionally disturbing and chaotic. Twin births which are assisted have a significant difference compared to spontaneous twin births with regards to low weight after birth, high premature state, and early gestational stage.
At some instances, assisted birth twins have likely to develop a greater degree of depression and respiratory diseases at birth. The psychological effect of which to mothers depends on how they cope with the situation but generally they become more aware of the babies health and needs, maternal or parental stress and depression, and unmet needs of the family. The psychological factors proved to be very critical with regards to the concept of infertility to women. These factors can affect both the mental and physical state of a woman.
Factors include anxiety, depression, guilt, isolation, and relationship tension. These can be considered as a result of infertility or its related causes and most of the times have a significant effect on the treatment or interventions being conducted. Interventions and treatments include the psychological treatment through counseling and by in-vitro fertilization. The treatment through counseling is being conducted during the pre conception and also after the in-vitro fertilization to primarily help the woman and also the baby inside to have a lesser degree of depression-related emotions and anxieties.
The in-vitro fertilization process includes the introduction of chemicals to enhance the reproductive state of a woman, though there are several adverse side effects on the woman’s psychological state such as obtaining psychosomatic symptoms, anxiety, and depression, intense tension on the muscles, lower self esteem, and self efficacy. Eventually the process of realizing infertility and the consequent treatments and interventions proved to be stressful. The technology on the reproductive area can some way or another make the conception of pregnancy possible, but the psychological effects or factors associated proved to be very critical.
The early or prompt action through psychological intervention can be very significant in the realization of a couple to have a baby. Furthermore, the support coming from a partner, a husband, and from the society can also help lessen the degree of emotional stress being experienced by the woman having infertility problems. Thus, the psychological factors can influence a woman’s reproductive state or in another point of view can be a cause and effect of infertility.