The role of the psychologist in assisted reproduction

3D Ultrasound
01/08/2019

The role of the psychologist in assisted reproduction

Interview with Marta García Moliner
General health psychologist specialising in assisted reproduction. Consultant psychologist at FIVclínic

When did you start to become interested in reproductive medicine?

After years of experience as a care and research nurse in the fields of obstetrics and neonatology at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, I moved into the world of gynaecology. When I saw the families, I’d often ask myself how they’d experienced the initial stages, sensing the importance of those beginnings, and their implications for the future. Fortunately I’ve been able to focus my efforts on this field, and today from the perspective of reproductive psychology, I can support our patients by providing them with strategies and resources that will give them potentially useful tools which can help them to adapt to this stage of their lives.

What does psychology contribute to the field of reproductive health?

A broad range of studies have been carried out providing evidence of the significant psychological impact of infertility treatments on couples, and above all the positive effect of psychological interventions for managing anxiety, depression and stress during assisted reproductive treatments.

The emotional effect of infertility on the lifecycle of those concerned is well known, and its effects are felt in many spheres: the family, social and cultural life, and by the couple themselves. So infertility can’t be reduced to purely medical or biological aspects, without taking into account the emotional implications. In reproductive psychology we seek to offer a holistic, personalised assessment, taking into consideration the biological, psychological and social facets impacting our patients.

What are the key stages?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint a key stage in a treatment, because each person who passes through our consulting rooms is different. At the start it can be useful to confront initial fears, and how assisted reproductive treatments can affect daily life. During the treatment, being available for patients is essential, specially when it takes a long time to become pregnant, or when the woman does become pregnant but doesn’t carry to term, or there are complications. There are treatments such as ovodonation which are worth a specific mention due to the profound impact that taking such a decision has on the couple. Once this procedure is complete, providing psychological support throughout the pregnancy is enormously helpful in terms of maintaining emotional strength and balance.

Marta García Moliner

General health psychologist specialising in assisted reproduction. Consultant psychologist at FIVclínic


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