Does the psychological state of the patient affect the success of the infertility treatment cycle?
Infertility is a major problem worldwide, affecting 10–15% of families of reproductive age.
According to expert estimates, the percentage of patients, who need assisted reproductive technologies, is about 35-40% among all patients having been addressed with infertility problems.
Currently, in the study of the difficulties of conceiving and carrying a baby, a large role is given to the analysis of the interaction between the stress response system and the reproductive system, because there is an evolutionarily determined biological interconnection of them. Numerous studies in the field of reproductive health have proven the great influence of the psyche on the processes occurring in the reproductive sphere. There is an increase in the effectiveness of infertility treatment by ART methods with simultaneous psychological support for IVF programs.
It has been noted in many types of researches that, as a rule, IVF patients have a long history of infertility, and therefore, by the beginning of treatment, they may be in a state of psycho-emotional stress. The inability to become pregnant or carry a baby is often considered by women as inferiority of life, which can lead to an increase in anxiety, tension, and the formation of depression. Finally, there comes a recognition of the impossibility of having a child in a natural way. A woman goes to a fertility clinic and faces new problems (difficulties in choosing, side effects and complications during treatment, stimulation, etc.). At the same time, it often turns out to be impossible to maintain the usual way of life, share responsibility, or even just tell your loved ones about what is happening. The circle of contacts is narrowing, anxiety is growing, general well-being is deteriorating. All this has a negative psychological effect on the woman. In the presence of internal psychological conflicts, their aggravation occurs: past fears emerge, doubts about the correctness of the decisions made increase.
Oddly enough, the psychological readiness of the patient to undergo ART programs is created, among other things, by a reproductive doctor. The general mood should be only positive and everything that can contribute to this should be used.
It is extremely important to create a trusted relationship between a couple and a fertility doctor, as well as administrators, nurses and the entire team of the clinic.
Often, when contacting a reproduction clinic, patients have their own, different from reality, the idea of reproductive medicine and their situation. It is important to give all the necessary information to patients in an accessible and honest way, in order for them to make an informed, independent decision regarding their further guidance – diagnostic and treatment tactics.
When there is an understanding that patients and the doctor, as well as the clinic team, are integral, they are reliable partners, then the treatment process will be as effective and comfortable as possible.
It is very important to understand the situation of motherhood as a whole: because this is the basis, and without it, nothing is going to happen. It is crucial to know what a woman's natural ability to conceive is; how a woman's age affects her ability to get pregnant; how to determine the supply of eggs, and what reduces it; what factors and in which way interfere with the pregnancy occurrence; what opportunities modern reproductive medicine has to overcome infertility.
In that case, there will be a clear understanding of the situation with all the possibilities in each particular event, so that patients can make an informed choice.
Do married couples need help of a psychologist with long and unsuccessful family planning? During ART programs?
In many cases, yes. The inability to realize the desire to become parents often causes anxiety, feelings of despair and even depressive symptoms.
Individual psychological consultation is an open talk between a psychologist and the patients, during which the latter can tell a specialist about all their feelings. In his turn, the perinatal psychologist will provide emotional support to patients. Prior to the start of the IVF procedure, a specialist will help prepare for the further manipulations, tune in to a positive result, gain self-confidence and peace of mind. The success of the cycle directly depends on the psychological state of the patient: the more harmonious it is, the higher the likelihood of pregnancy.
Adequate work of a psychologist is always carried out individually and never replaces medical treatment, but only helps to undergo it. Partners can go to the consultation together or separately.