Psychology Of Infertility

Infertility is a conundrum of modern times, even though it is out there right since the dawn of civilization.

What is noteworthy is that infertility as a condition has escalated into a major health concern, as a result, both health researchers and infertile couples are increasingly coming into the gambit of debate, research, scientific scrutiny, and various treatment strategies.

Infertility is multifactorial and it can affect almost all areas of human life and relationship. It is notorious for its monstrous ability to 'make and break' a relationship. It can have a significant impact on the emotional lives and day-to-day functioning of infertile couples.

It is important to remember that stress, anxiety, depression, and maladjustment can act both ways, meaning that they not only have the potential to precipitate Infertility, but childlessness is equally liable to lead to mental health crises. 

In the first place, it has to be conceded that in comparison to the earlier times, Infertility has become a serious health and social concern. 

The causative factors range from stress, lifestyle issues, relationship tangles, sexual dysfunctions to biological factors, and even in certain cases, there are no definitive reasons.

One particular aspect of Infertility that has been given prominence is the impact of the trauma of infertility on the lives of childless couples. It is obvious that for a married couple, the inability to conceive can be a big blow to their self-esteem and expected virility. There is no doubt that the state of Infertility can be a source of major trauma for prospective couples. On the one hand, society thrives on procreation, while on the other hand, both the couple and the immediate family are desirous of having children in the family, which the infertile couples are unable to comply with. As a social convention, no marriage is considered worthwhile, if the woman in question, is unable to conceive.

At times, the trauma of Infertility can far outweigh the emotional resources of an infertile couple, which soon can catapult into a major crisis state, creating further trauma and rift in the relationship.

Marriage is not only a formalized union between a man and a woman, it is also a tacit contract between them, where they become accountable to raise children and propagate the lineage of the concerned families.

From this perspective, infertility can weigh down heavily on the couples and trigger marital disharmony, which can be hard to resolve. Marital adjustment can be severely affected by Infertility, particularly, because the reciprocal expectation is high soon after marriage is sanctified.

Infertility can create a stalemate situation, where emotional outbursts and anger issues, may become very common, which can go out of control unless the couples seek professional help. Aggression can be an offshoot of the stress and anxiety associated with the state of Infertility. In a scenario like this, the relationship may become a battlefield of allegations and counter-allegations, along with frayed tempers and disgruntlement.

Infertility, on the other hand, generates a high level of social concern and sexual expectations as well, because, the necessity of parenthood is the primary interest when the marital contract takes place. The desire for progenies is a natural and integral part of human nature and society, especially, in females. It is undeniable fact that parenthood is a biological urge and requirement on the part of all married couples, unless, as it is being witnessed in modern times, where couples conjointly decide to remain childless by choice.

Once Infertility surfaces, it invariably puts an almost irretrievable dent on the Fertility Quality of Life and this happens because the couples are eager for children but are incapable, while, at the same time, it influences the sexual homeostasis of the concerned couple. Fertility Quality of Life is intricately connected with the relationship dynamics, sexual equations, and intrafamilial expectations. There is no doubt that the state of Infertility, or for that matter, Fertility, definitively influences the eventual sexual locus standi and the expected virility of the couples. 

It is worth pointing out here that in all the above matrices, Infertility affects the overall functioning of the couples and that both males and females are affected likewise, with a differential in the degree of affectation. After all, human emotions and psychological reaction formations are almost identical, regardless of the quantum of trauma associated with the state of Infertility.

It is to be noted here that in the current study, it has emerged that the associated trauma and emotional impact, are comparatively low in the Unexplained Infertility Group. There are two reasons behind this important observation, which is again congruent with the findings in other studies and meta-analyses. First, the couples being unaware of the underlying reason(s) behind their infertile state, generates a paradoxical sense of relief and they tend to see it as not being self-accusatory. And secondly, the lack of establishable factors behind Infertility can make the couple feel less burdened.

As far as the therapeutic outcome of the prospective infertile couples goes, it is worth noting here that the psychotherapy stratagem innovatively designed by me, when applied to the couples, made a visible impact on the negative emotions, adaptability, and intrafamilial adjustment. 

The novel structure ascribed to the designed psychotherapy, targetted specifically for Infertile couples has elements of stress reduction, anxiety management, CBT, Mindfulness, Insight-Oriented quadrant, and a Supportive element.