Lack of a perceived understanding and support does appear to persist for many infertile couples following failed fertility treatments over time, resulting in difficulty adjusting for them. Therefore clients might benefit from counseling to assist them in rebuilding the important relationships within their lives that might have been damaged during the time they were pursuing a pregnancy. Additionally, they may also require support in their attempt to accept their biological diagnosis of infertility.
With the high incidence of infertility, it almost guarantees that the complex emotional roller coaster that couples face as infertility will be an issue in some way within their counseling; and counselors must understand that the complexities that infertile individuals and couples experience include biological, psychological, and sociological effects. Couples responded positively when asked if they would find it useful to have some help from someone besides the medical specialists they were currently seeing, in fact 39.2% said they would with 83.8% of them desiring monthly assistance as reported by K.J. Watkins.
Clinicians might be able to help more if they understood the history behind the feelings and attitudes related to infertility such as the history behind some of the feelings, such as from Biblical, tribal and cultural ideologies. The Bible says to “be fruitful and multiply” and gives the impression that having children is a blessed event without which there is no purpose in living, and some primitive and unscientific explanations for infertility have been thought that it was brought about by ancestral anger over a marriage or as the result of a curse, or due to sexual behaviors of the women, Watkins explains. It is unfortunate that even in more recent times in American culture, in the 1940’s to 1960’s, infertility has been blamed on the woman and linked to her unconscious fear of sexual feelings or her neuroses, her psychological impairment and her ambivalence toward becoming a mother or even today on career women postponing childbearing until later in life.
Accepting infertility is much more difficult than other diagnoses as one feels that if they just keep trying they will be successful. Doctors can give test results and explain it all but the truth still remains that it is hard to look at tests and believe that they are actually taking away a dream. More articles to come on this series.