Addressing the emotional barriers to access to reproductive care

Many infertile individuals do not seek out treatment or drop out of treatment owing to the psychological burden of infertility.

Camilla W. Rich, B.A., Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.

Volume 105, Issue 5, Pages 1124-1127


Health care professionals make the medical care of infertility patients a priority, with the goal of achieving a singleton pregnancy for each. Patients who never seek out care, who do not return for treatment after the diagnostic workup, or who drop out of treatment are rarely noticed. Yet this is the outcome for the majority of patients, and the primary reason after financial for treatment termination is the emotional aspect. Attending to the psychological needs of our patients must become a higher priority, to provide all patients true access to care.

  • Jason Kovac

    I totally agree mary. I do refer patients with emotional/stress/anxiety issues to a local counsellor who specializes in fertility counseling for couples. Maybe you have something like that in your area as well?

  • msamplaski

    I completely agree that the majority of these couples go neglected. I would also point out that a large part of our role is to listen and respond to these couples psychologic concerns. When I elicit these needs, I have been shocked at how raw patients are willing to be. Likewise, we have all seen couples whose relationship has been strained heavily by the stress of infertility. I would be interested in seeing how many couples engaged with a psychotherapist if it was routinely offered in fertility care.

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