Infertility pp 39-49 | Cite as

Therapy of Working with the Childless Woman: The Pathos of Unrealized Dreams, the Psychology of Female Infertility

  • Mariram B. Rosenthal
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 53)

Abstract

The inability to bear children when one wishes is considered a developmental crisis in the lives of women and men. Throughout history, fertility has been highly valued and viewed as the link between generations. It is estimated that about ten to fifteen percent of couples of reproductive age in the United States are unable to conceive after a year of coitus without contraception. This represents about 3 million couples (Seibel, 1991) who are making over 2 million visits a year to the offices of physicians in their quest for a biologic child (Speroff, 1989). There does not seem to be an absolute increase in the occurrence of infertility (Center for Disease Control, 1985). Age adjusted rates remain about the same as they were in 1965, but many women are having their first children later in their thirties when fertility is declining. Peak fertility remains between the ages of 20 to 29 when many women today are building careers, and developing lasting relationships. Some other causes for infertility are the increase in sexually transmitted diseases and the possible presence of environmental toxins (Speroff, 1989). About 50% of couples’ infertility problems are female, about 40% male, and the rest, problems in both partners.

Keywords

Anorexia Nervosa Embryo Transfer Assisted Reproductive Technology Premature Ejaculation Childless Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Abbey, A., Halman, L. and Andrews, F. : 1993, ‘Psychological treatment and demographic predictors of the stress associated with infertility’, Fertil Steril 57,122–128.Google Scholar
  2. Baran A. and Pannor R. : 1989, Lethal Secrets, The Shocking Consequences and Unsolved Problems of Artificial Insemination, Warner Books, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Berg, B. J. and Wilson, J. F. : 1991. ‘Psychological functioning across stages of treatment for infertility’, J Behav Med 14, 11–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berger, D. : 1977, ‘The role of the psychiatrist in a reproductive biology clinic’, Fertil Steril 28, 141–145.Google Scholar
  5. Brody, E. M. : 1987, ‘Reproduction without sex, but with the doctor’ Law, Medicine & Health Care 15, 152–155.Google Scholar
  6. Burns L. : 1993, ‘An overview of the psychology of infertility’, Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of No America 4, 433–454.Google Scholar
  7. Dennerstein, L. and Morse, C. : 1988, ‘A review of psychological and social aspects of in vitro fertilization’, J P sychosom Obstet Gynecol 9, 159–170.Google Scholar
  8. Domar, A., Seibel, M. and Benson, H. : 1990, ‘The mind/body program for infertility: A new behavioral treatment approach for women with infertility’, Fertil Steril 53, 246–249.Google Scholar
  9. Downey, J. et al. : 1989, ‘Mood disorders, psychiatric symptoms, and distress in women presenting for infertility evaluation’, Fertil Steril 52, 425–432.Google Scholar
  10. Erickson, E. : 1980, Identity and the Life Cycle, W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Fagan, P et al. : 1985, ‘Sexual functioning and psychologic evaluation of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer’, Fertil Steril 43, 48–53.Google Scholar
  12. Freeman, E. W. et al. : 1985, ‘Psychological evaluation and support in a program of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer’, Fertil Steril 43, 48–53.Google Scholar
  13. Greenfeld, G. et al. : 1985, ‘The role of the social worker in the in vitro fertilization program’, Social Work in Health Care 10, 71–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harrison, K. L., Callan, V. J. and Hennessey, J. F. : 1987, ‘Stress and semen quality in an in vitro fertilization program’, Fertil Steril 48, 633–636.Google Scholar
  15. Higgins, B. S. : 1990, ‘Couple infertility: From the perspective of the close/relationship model’, Family Relations 39, 81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holder A. : 1993, ‘Legal and ethical issues in assisted reproductive technology’, Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of No America 4, 597–614.Google Scholar
  17. Hollender, M. and Ford, C. : 1990, Dynamic Psychotherapy: An Introductory Approach, Am Psychiat Press, Inc, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  18. Kraft, A. : 1980, ‘The psychological dimensions of infertility’, Am J Orthopysciat 30, 618–628.Google Scholar
  19. Lauritzen, P. : 1993, Pursuing Parenthood. Ethical Issues in Assisted Reproduction, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  20. Leiblum, S., Kenmann, E. and Lande, M. K. : 1987, ‘The psychological concomitants of in vitro fertilization’, J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol 6, 165–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mahlstedt, P. et al. : 1987, ‘Emotional factors in the in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer process’, J of in Vitro Fertil & Embryo Transfer 4, 232–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mahowald, M. B. : 1993, Women and Children in Health Care. An Equal Majority, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  23. Menning, B.E. : 1980, ‘The emotional needs of infertile couples’, Fertil Steril 34, 313.Google Scholar
  24. Milden, R. : 1985, Infertility and the New Reproductive Technologies: Psychodynamic Specualtions, paper presented at the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  25. Morse, C. A. and Van hall, E. V. : 1987, ‘Psychosocial aspects of infertility: a review of current concepts’, J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol 6, 157–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Noyes, R. and Chapnick, E. : 1964, ‘Literature of psychology and infertility: A critical analysis’, Fertil Steril 15, 543Google Scholar
  27. Olshansky, E. F. : 1987, ‘Identity of self as infertile: an example of theory-generating research’, Advances in Nursing Science 9, 54.Google Scholar
  28. Reading, A. : 1989, ‘Decison making and in vitro fertilization: the influence of emotional state’, J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol 10, 107–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rosenthal, M.B. : 1993, ‘Psychiatric aspects of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies’, Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of No America 4, 471–481.Google Scholar
  30. Rosenthal, M. B. : 1985, ‘Grappling with the emotional aspects of infertility’, Contemp OB/GYN 7,97–104.Google Scholar
  31. Seibel, M. : 1988, ‘A new era in reproductive technology’, N Engl J Med 318, 828–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sokoloff, B. : 1987, ‘Alternate methods of reproduction: Effects on the child’, Clin Peds 11–17.Google Scholar
  33. Speroff, L. (ed): 1989, Clinical Gynecology Endocrinology and Fertility, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, Maryland.Google Scholar
  34. Stanton, A. L. and Dunkel-Schetter, L. : 1991, ‘Psychological adjustment to infertility’, in Infertility: Perspective From Stress and Coping Research. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 3–16.Google Scholar
  35. Taymor, M. L. : 1990, Infertility: A Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment, Plenum Medical Book Company, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Roden, J. and Collins, A. (eds): 1991, Women and New Reproductive Technologies: Medical, Psychosocial, Legal and Ethical Dilemmas, Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariram B. Rosenthal

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations