Psychological Infertility Causes & Treatment Tips

Almost every third couple which cannot conceive a baby tends to explain the problem as a matter of “psychological infertility”. This means that they have no health problems, but despite all the attempts, pregnancy does not occur. Or they cannot save it. will tell you what reasons lead to the fact that the psyche does not allow you to get pregnant, whether it depends on the relationship in the couple or only on the attitude of the woman alone and how to cope with such a situation.

Psychological (psychosomatic, psychogenic) infertility is a fairly common situation where a couple having no physiological problems with men’s and women’s health does not enjoy the desired pregnancy after at least a year of trying. It also happens that pregnancy occurs, but it cannot be preserved and endured, although the woman has no serious health problems. In this case, doctors often recommend the couple to seek psychological help.

According to some reports, about 30% of couples seeking medical help for infertility, are faced with what is called psychological infertility. The most common causes of psychological infertility encountered in the practice of psychotherapists are as follows.

1. Increased level of anxiety in women (and couples in general)

Each woman who decides to become a mother expects to see the cherished result on the test strip with impatience and excitement. Month after month. But the degree of this excitement can be different. It affects the possibility of conception and the development of pregnancy in the earliest terms. If a woman is anxious by nature or her self-esteem is not very stable, she feels incredibly strong anxiety and even the fear of failure. Suffering from this fear and uncontrolled anxiety, she monitors her body to check if ovulation has occurred. What will the test strip show? Is everything all right?

A woman’s head is occupied with only one dominant thought – an obsessive desire to have a baby. It is logical that sexual relations in a couple are reduced only to the function of fertilization – scheduled sex on ovulation days and further waiting for the onset of pregnancy, which does not occur. From this moment on, the relations in a couple are already beginning to suffer. Passion and tenderness are gone, there is a feeling of “obligation” and mechanistic relations. As a result, the partners in the couple no longer feel at ease in the relationship; irritation and resentment appear, stress accumulates, which in turn can lead to complete medical diagnosis of ovarian dysfunction. In this case, the ovaries no longer produce ready-to-fertilize eggs and hormonal disruptions begin, which also significantly reduces the chances of conception.

Thus, expecting the desired conception turns into permanent stress. Thoughts about pregnancy become a factor of anxiety and fear. As a result, the body perceives pregnancy as a risk and an extra stress factor, blocking the possibility of its occurrence.

The mechanism is as follows: anxiety and fear are emotions and, like any other emotion, they are accompanied by biochemical changes in the neurohumoral regulation system, namely, irregular cortisol and adrenaline. High levels of cortisol, in turn, inhibit the production of estrogen, adversely affect progesterone, and also provoke an imbalance between luteotropin and follitropin. This implies a violation of the cycle, the suppression of ovulation and the reduction in endometrium growth, which is necessary for successful implantation and the development of pregnancy in the early stages.

A woman finds herself in a vicious circle: she is afraid not to get pregnant, but her constant fear interferes with conception even more, and one clings to the other. In addition, there are the feelings of distrust, resentment, and annoyance towards her own body.

2. Uncertainty about the partner

Another cause of infertility may be the subconscious feeling that your partner is not the one with whom you would like to live your whole life or be forever associated with by having a baby. A woman unconsciously has a lot of insults, discontent, and lack of confidence in a partner.

In these cases, the woman’s body can block the possibility of pregnancy either through lack of ovulation or through an insufficient layer of the endometrium, to which the fertilized egg simply cannot attach.

3. A woman is not psychologically ready for pregnancy

The third major cause of psychological infertility lies in the woman’s subconscious unpreparedness for pregnancy.

– Upon closer examination, it turns out that a woman has too many fears about pregnancy and childbirth. These fears may be associated with a traumatic family history, when in the woman’s family pregnancy and childbirth sometimes ended up unsuccessfully (a dying fetus, miscarriages, death during childbirth) or the woman herself already has the experience of unsuccessful pregnancies.

– There are very common cases when the “chase” for pregnancy is mainly due to the pressure of society rather than the woman’s true deep need to bring a new person into the world. The desire for professional advancement, other secondary benefits of life without a child (maintaining physical attractiveness, a habitual lifestyle with complete freedom of action and movement, full attention from a partner, etc.) can affect your decision, but it is awkward to admit this because relatives and society will not understand you. Hence, an internal conflict arises, placing a temporary block on the ability to conceive.

It is also necessary to note the important difference between the desire to become pregnant and the desire to have a baby and be a mother. During pregnancy, a woman is psychologically in a very comfortable period of her life: the attention of the loved ones and a special attitude on the part of other people. The process of childbirth and motherhood is a different, qualitatively new period of life. If a woman is not psychologically ready for this, if she doubts her competence as a mother, is not sure of her partner, or questions her chance of raising a child on her own if necessary, her pregnancy can be interrupted. As a rule, this is typical of women with unstable self-esteem, psychological traumas of childhood, and dysfunctional relations with their own mother.

Psychotherapists’ tips to women who want to get pregnant but cannot do so

Awareness of your own causes and psychological impact on them can significantly increase the chances of having a baby.

In some cases, it is enough to sincerely admit that motherhood is not the cornerstone of existence. You will not lose the status of a woman without it. There can be other important tasks and sense of living.

It is useful to give yourself the permission to stop, to take a pause for a while, to “let go” the question of motherhood, trusting your body, your other needs, which were put on hold. All these internal solutions significantly relieve stress and allow you to regain the resources and the balance of energy. If you are not able to cope with anxiety and keep waiting for pregnancy, you can always seek qualified help from a reproductive therapist who will help you understand and overcome individual barriers on the way to pregnancy, understand the possible secondary benefits of your current condition and ease excessive stress.

What about the women who had miscarriages or failed IVF attempts

It is extremely important to feel the support of loved ones, to speak out, not to hide the pain in the depths of your psyche immediately after a miscarriage or an unsuccessful IVF attempt.

It is important to give yourself time to recover from this experience, time to overcome grief. The natural terms are six months or a year. The body needs time to get used to the situation and restructure itself; it is important for the senses to find a way out and be accepted by someone else.

It is important not to forget about the loss, but to survive, to digest, to overcome and then let it go. It is important to try and draw conclusions for yourself from this experience, to understand what knowledge it has given you, and how it has psychologically enriched you.

It is important, as in any depressing situation, to have background awareness that this state is not endless. Yes, you have the experience of depression periods and losses in the broadest sense, and these periods always had their beginning, peak, and decline. It will be easier for you if you give yourself some time for it.
Some patients who are prone to structuring their lives are psychologically more comfortable to set themselves a specific time period (3 months, six months, a year) and indeed after this programmed period expires, the feeling of hopelessness goes away, and aspirations and the power appear.

What to do to get ready for the next attempt to get pregnant, including IVF

There are no special recommendations. No deadlines. Just trust your partner, trust your body, trust your instinct. At the most opportune moment, the body will tell you that it wants pregnancy, that it cannot do otherwise, that it is ready to benefit from your full support and go all the way from conception to the birth of a new life.