Psychological Counseling for Fertility in Los Angeles
Infertility affects one out of every twelve couples of reproductive age. Many couples report having complex emotional issues related to their infertility. You may feel isolated because you don’t want anyone to know about this private experience. Our network of trained professionals will help you cope with the sadness, stress, and other feelings associated with infertility.
How common is infertility?
Infertility affects around 10-15% of couples at reproductive age. In the last few decades, the number of couples seeking treatment for fertility problems has increased due to awareness of services, successful infertility treatment techniques, and postponement of childbearing by women.
How does infertility affect couples?
Infertility can be a major stressor to some people. Couples experience a sense of loss, stigma, and diminished self-esteem related to infertility. Both men and women report a sense of loss of identity, as well as feelings of incompetence and defectiveness.
What is the goal of psychological counseling?
Our goal is to assist the couple dealing with infertility. We strive to create happy, joyful families during the assisted reproduction process. Psychological counseling allows the couple to be informed, knowledgeable, and free of emotional crisis when starting their family.
Who needs psychological counseling?
We assess the psychological health of all persons involved in the assisted reproductive technology process. Not only do we assist the couple striving to have a child, we provide services to egg donors, sperm donors, surrogates, and gestational carriers. A series of psychological screening tools are used to assess each person’s mental health.
What conditions are treated with psychological counseling?
Depression, anxiety, and stress are common consequences of infertility, and are treated with psychological counseling. The incidence of major depression among infertile couples is higher than fertile controls, with a rate of 15-45%. Depression directly affects fertility, involving thyroid dysfunction, disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and elevated prolactin levels.
Why do couples using assisted reproduction technology need counseling?
According to clinical studies, women presenting for in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more depressed, less confident, and have lower self-esteem than fertile women. These issues are worse following a failed IVF cycle. Stress and mood state impact the outcome of assisted reproduction, with distress being associated with lower pregnancy rates.
What interventions are used during psychological counseling for infertility?
The therapist will use individual or couple counseling, cognitive behavioral group psychotherapy, and support group therapy to increase fertility rates. Research supports the effectiveness for group behavioral treatment to decrease depression and anxiety. Most counselors avoid pharmacologic treatment, as some medications negatively affect fertility.