Psychotherapeutic intervention for treatment of couples with secondary infertility

Fertil Steril. 1985 Jun;43(6):897-900. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)48618-8.


Twenty couples with a history of secondary infertility and no detectable organic etiology were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group was seen by a psychotherapist for an interview, the object of which was to detect and discuss previously unrecognized psychosexual problems or psychologic conflicts. The second group was not seen by the psychotherapist. Interviews included the presence of both members of the couple and the infertility specialist. The psychiatric interview did uncover psychologic conflicts, the most prevalent of which was a problem between the woman and her mother in which psychologic boundaries between the two women were confused. Sexual problems, marital discord, and fear of pregnancy were other issues warranting clarification and attention. After 18 months of follow-up, six of the ten women in couples interviewed had become pregnant, and one woman of nine in the control group had become pregnant.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / complications*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / therapy