Crisis, Grief and Coping with Infertility
Parr, Karen S.
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Infertility and its psychological consequences affect not only women, but their partners as well. There exists a gap in the treatment of infertility when meeting the emotional needs of patients. As a result, patients frequently receive little or no emotional support to facilitate coping with a diagnosis that has the potential to be devastating. Infertility and its subsequent treatment occur on a continuum and as such warrants psychological support throughout the entire process. Interestingly, women who have been successful in their fertility treatment have had a higher prevalence of postpartum depression. Obtaining a viable pregnancy does not necessarily resolve the emotional issues associated with infertility. It was found that the grief associated with infertility has for some been more painful than the death of a loved one as family and friends are often unable to provide the level of support that is needed. As the advances in infertility treatment continue to focus on the medical treatment and instrumentation, there is a lack of evidence-based practice on what measures best help the individual best deal with the psychological ramifications of what will be a life-changing diagnosis.