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Complementary Therapies> Mind Body Program
For women and their partners who are struggling to conceive, the frustration and distress of infertility can be overwhelming. Coping with infertility is difficult and can affect almost all areas of a person’s life. Recently, three separate studies have shown that the distress levels of women experiencing infertility is the same as the distress experienced by cancer patients. Additionally, research has also shown that as many as 40% of women struggling with infertility also experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, or both. Clearly there is a relationship between the medical side of infertility and the emotional impacts on individuals struggling to conceive. Research has begun to validate the importance of a holistic approach to the treatment of infertility. This research has shown that treating the emotional aspects of infertility actually improves pregnancy and birth rates.
There are many medical and psychological examples of the power of the mind body connection – the self fulfilling prophecy, the impact of expectancy on outcome, the placebo effect, even the power of prayer – are all manifestations of this powerful relationship. Learning to shift negative thought patterns to more positive and hopeful ones has been shown to be an effective tool in both reducing the stress and depression associated with infertility as well as increasing one’s physical health.
Complicating the emotional impact of infertility on a person is that typically, infertility is experienced by a couple. Partners are typically not in the same places emotionally with their reactions to the diagnoses, treatments options and outcomes. Often, the woman is ready for the next step before the man is; although this dynamic may also be reversed. Additionally, the emotional reaction to infertility for men and women is quite different. One study of IVF patients found that 48% of women reported infertility was most upsetting experience of their lives while only 15% of men felt this way. With such differing perspectives and reactions, certainly the couple may experience strain on their relationship as they attempt to cope individually and together.
Despite the serious emotional toll infertility can take on a person, there is hope! Carolina Conceptions understands the emotional impact of infertility and can recommend complementary therapies to reduce stress, implement positive coping strategies, shift negative thinking patterns and lessen isolation. The negative emotional impact of infertility is not permanent and you can begin feeling like yourself again.