Psychological problems related to infertility

Psychological well-being stems, at least in part, from the way we experience what happens to us throughout our lives. In other words: our mental health is always tied to what is going on around us, to what is going on beyond our brain.

This is clearly seen in cases where psychological problems caused by infertility problems appear, An experience which, even if it does not cause great discomfort in all cases, can lead in some people to major seizures.

    Psychological problems linked to infertility in the couple

    The emotional shock for some people of knowing that they are unlikely to have biological children does not always go away in a few days. Sometimes it turns into psychological issues that stay alive longer.

    Ultimately, this can lead to the appearance of symptoms of genuine psychological disorders, some of which can be qualified as disorders. Let’s take a look at some of the ones I usually see in psychotherapy, keeping in mind that they don’t usually all happen in the same person at the same time.

    1. Lack of a clear vital goal

    For many people, raising at least one son or daughter and watching them grow up is fundamentally the most important goal to aspire to, the one that is the backbone and gives meaning to all adult life. Infertility truncates these expectations, especially when it is interposed between the father or mother and the first baby, which sometimes triggers the onset of mood disorders, such as depression.

    2. Complexes due to gender roles

    Because of the cultural importance we place on the ability to be a mother, many women suffer from infertility almost like a traumatic experience; a desperate situation which escapes the control of the one who undergoes it in the first person, and which at the same time “is always there”, or at least seems to be hiding at all times.

    Likewise, for many men, it is also extremely painful not to be able to have biological children, and it can even lead to serious insecurities, because fatherhood is linked to the concept of masculinity and virility.

    Of course, all these forms of discomfort do not in themselves come from the inability to have children, but from the interpretation of this fact mediated by cultural phenomena: gender roles and the stereotypes they convey. However, this does not mean that psychological problems resulting from infertility should be overlooked or even looked down upon, because no matter how much they are (in part) based on social conventions, emotional pain really does exist, and for that, it does. must be taken seriously.

    3. Sexual dysfunctions

    Mentally, for some couples (or members of it), fatherhood and motherhood are linked to genitality. Therefore, cases of infertility can promote the onset of sexual dysfunctions linked to insecurity and fear of being ridiculed. “I don’t serve for that”, “that doesn’t make sense” are relatively common thoughts among those who believe they are biologically “damaged” in all matters of sex and reproduction.

    4. Social isolation

    In a certain age group, it is normal that one of the problems that arises when socializing with other people of the same generation is parenthood, funny baby care anecdotes, etc. It can cause a feeling of grievance and loneliness if it is misinterpreted, And may even predispose to social isolation, not wanting to stay with friends so as not to have this frustrating experience again.

    5. Couple crisis

    Because of all this, the painful memories associated with infertility are able to make the life of a couple stop being pleasant, be a constant reminder of what causes frustration.

    Psychotherapy applied to infertility cases

    Fortunately, although infertility is usually a long-lasting disease and there is no partial improvement (or whether or not you may have a viable baby), the related negative psychological effects can be treated effectively if you have professional help psychotherapists.

    In these interventions, adapted to the characteristics and needs of each couple or patient, psychologists establish strategies to help those who visit us in two parallel ways: to change the way infertility is interpreted, and to promote lifestyle habits that support them. help them feel good about the resources they have.

    In this way, whether or not it is possible to have a baby over time, patients adopt a philosophy of life in which happiness is not conditioned by fatherhood or motherhood. And, on the other hand, it also intervenes in the possible problems of the couple which could have arisen because of the bad management of the emotions vis-a-vis infertility.

    If you want to know how we work Cribecca Psicologia, a psychotherapy center located in SevilleYou can see more information about us as well as our contact details by clicking here.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association (1994). DSM-IV. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington: APA.
    • Carta, MG; Altamura, AC; Hardoy, MC; et al. (2003). Is Brief Recurrent Depression an Expression of Mood Spectrum Disorders in Youth? European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. 253 (3): 149-53.
    • Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, Lawlor DA, Rimer J, Waugh FR, McMurdo M, Mead GE (September 2013). Mead GE (eds). “Exercise for Depression”. The Cochrane Systematic Review Database. 9 (9):
    • Patton LL (2015). The ADA’s How-To Guide for Patients with Medical Conditions (2nd ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

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