Infertility: Psychoemotional impact, emotional adjustment to fertility treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy

Efthimiou K, Perdikari E

Adult's Therapy Unit, Institute of Behaviour Research and Therapy, Athens, Greece

Correspondence: Efthimiou Konstantinos, Adult's Therapy Unit, Institute of Behaviour Research and Therapy, 10 Gladstonos St, Athens, GR-10677 Greece 
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Abstract

According to the British Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, it is estimated that one in six couples will have to deal with some kind of infertility during lifetime, while World Health Organization considers infertility as one of the major problems of world public health. The present review focuses on the psychosocial impact of infertility, its cognitive meaning and the emotional adjustment problems during treatment for assisted conception, as well as the likelihood of lifelong childlessness. This review aims at presenting recent empirical data concerning psychological interventions and especially the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in diminishing emotional difficulties associated to infertility. Empirical data supports the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, its superiority compared to other psychotherapeutic interventions, while contemporary references recommend the need of psychological therapy prior to fertility treatment, during treatment and after consecutive unsuccessful treatment cycles in order to obtain psychoemotional adjustment at every therapeutic stage.
 

Key words: infertility; psychoemotional impact; cognitive behavioral therapy; emotional adjustment to fertility treatment