Infertility and its treatment--an emotional roller coaster

Aust Fam Physician. 2005 Mar;34(3):135-8.


Background: Receiving a diagnosis of infertility is a significant life crisis, and subsequent in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment presents a physical and psychological challenge for many patients.

Objective: This article aims to provide the health professional with an insight into the psychological stressors associated with the experience of infertility, and provide strategies for providing support during this difficult journey.

Discussion: Feelings of grief and loss are very common as couples come to terms with the fact that they are not able to conceive naturally. Different emotional coping styles between men and women may add to what is an already stressful time. The grieving process in IVF is often stagnated and chronic, and acceptance and resolution is not psychologically possible until closure is achieved, either by becoming pregnant and giving birth, or ending infertility treatment and ceasing trying to conceive.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infertility / diagnosis
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Male
  • Physician's Role
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment Failure