Psycho-therapeutic interventions for addressing concerns and requirements related to infertility related distress has been studied and have been found to be the need of the hour

Psycho-therapeutic interventions for addressing concerns and requirements related to infertility related distress has been studied and have been found to be the need of the hour. There has been an increasing understanding about the needs and requirements for specific terms and skill sets for infertility specific distress and psycho-education for infertility and childlessness.
Psycho-social interventions need to be addressed from both a medical and psychological aspect rather than taking an individualistic route. A medical approach assumes that only when the individual or the couple suffers severe distress should they be referred for psychological attention. But it has been seen from a psychological perspective that it is more beneficial and helpful if counseling is provided, research evidence suggests that men and women experiencing infertility and involuntary childless have a favorable attitude towards psycho-social interventions.
Infertility needs to be approached as a couples issue than as for an individual’s alone. Counseling is highly recommended for both partners together, there are gender based differences between men and women and women are more likely to see a counselor. For the couple, it is helpful to explain that infertility is a couple’s issue and therefore it is highly recommended that both the partners attend atleast the initial counselling together and provide information about the psycho-social aspects of infertility. Addressing the counseling and psycho-therapeutic needs of a couple requires an in-depth knowledge regarding the possible difficulties and areas that needs that cause distress to the couple. Certain organizations and ethical bodies have developed a codes of practice and practitioner’s both medical and psycho-social are expected to adhere to the guidelines given . the codes of practice to be followed by infertility specific counselors are :
1.Knowledge about the psychology of infertility (typical and atypical responses to infertility and medical treatment bereavement, and crisis intervention)
2.impact on the individual on self-esteem, effects on marital quality (such as gender differences and the impact on a couple’s sexual relationship) and societal issues (such as the stigma and taboo associated with infertility)
3.Assistance and assessment to help the family in building alternatives (adoption, third party reproduction, living without children)
4.Individual and couple counseling
5.Medical treatment possibilities
6.Pregnancy and birth following ART
7.Alternative medicine relevant for infertility
8.Legal and ethical issues related to ART. Furthermore, they must have a minimum of clinical experience in infertility counseling and under-go regular supervision and continuing education.
Van Balen and Inhorn (1997) cite the difficulty in conducting researches on infertility have mainly been due to the these four points,
1.It was considered to be a medical problem and one that did not need further discourses of action
2.A taboo subject, difficult to engage persons to speak about it.
3.Seen predominantly as a woman’s issue , had taken a gender based perspective always, changing social beliefs about parenthood and womanhood.
4.Researches were focused more on assisted reproductive techniques than on psycho-social impacts on individuals.
WHO (World Health Organization) has acknowledged that one of the main hindrances in treating and identification is the lack of uniform access to quality of health care world-over to this condition. There are no uniform standards about who needs what-type of care. There has always been a lack of clarity regarding the population who is in need of psycho-social aid. Of all the treatment seekers, about twenty to twenty five percent of individuals seek counselling aid. This was commonly seen in the Western countries than in Asian cultures. On the basis of this, a few pointers to who might benefit from a psycho-social aid has been identified.
1.Individuals and couples with marital distress and issues.
2.Past psychiatric history or those vulnerable for a developing one
3.Those who are unable to decide about treatment continuation
4.Those with a family history of genetic comorbidities
5.Women who are pregnant with multiples
6.Loss of pregnancy experienced by them more than once
7. Recipients of donor gametes, either from male or female.