Clinico-Psycho-Social Aspects Of Infertility

4 mins read

Infertility is a global health issue affecting approximately 8-10% of couples. It is a multi-dimensional problem with social, economic and cultural implication and defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse.

Many infertile women in developing countries consider that without children their lives are without hope. Our culture demands that for a woman to be socially accepted, she should have at least one biological child.

Infertility may arise from genetic abnormalities, infections or environmental agents, delayed childbearing behaviour and certain diseases.

Among them, endometriosis, an estrogen-dependent disorder causes 25-40% infertility in women and occur in a wide range of women from pre-menarche to post-menopause and diagnosis have been made in women ranging from 12-80 years of age. It is defined as the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity having multifaceted pathology.

Its pathology involves various factors like genetic predisposition, menstrual and reproductive factors, lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise and consumption of alcohol and caffeine. About a third of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman.

Primary treatment involves removal or reduction of ectopic endometrial implants, restoration of normal anatomy, and hindrance of disease and alleviation of symptoms.

Besides this, ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology), laparoscopic surgery have been also used for the management of endometriosis.

However, high-tech reproductive technologies have associated psychological and ethical issues that must be addressed by the infertile couple.

Infertility counselling and support services are the well organized psycho-social approach to infertility. Psychosocial issues should be discussed by the physician with the couples in every visit.

Information material about the centre, procedural information, booklets or educational videos should be provided to the couple. Presence at support groups will build up coping abilities.

Psychotherapy and psychosocial counselling are effective in minimizing negative outcome, clarifying life goals, the context for support, advice and guidance will help live more satisfied and resourcefully.

– British Council of Association of Infertility Counseling, 1999

The list of various counselling techniques are:

  • ventilation,
  • explanation,
  • reassurance,
  • diversion by physical and mental activities,
  • recreation,
  • yoga,
  • improve problem-solving skill,
  • encourage health defence mechanism,
  • suggestions, reinforcement, change of attitude and lifestyle.

If treatment has been unsuccessful, couples are faced with the decision to either continue treatments or make other choices.

The choices include adaptation and, at the other end of the spectrum, choosing to remain sans a child.

All of these options are difficult decisions.

Early intervention and meeting with a specialist, the infertile person will find answers and be able to realize your dream of having a child.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this reader-submitted article are strictly the personal opinions of the authors/doctors. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this health article.

This health/medicine-related article has only been very mildly edited by League of India and is published nearly as received.

Dr Sandhya

Dr Sandhya is Senior Resident, Dept.of Prasuti & Strirog, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

Dr Om Prakash Singh

Dr Om Prakash Sharma is Assistant Prof. (Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy), Dept. of Orthopaedics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

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