The main causes of “psychological infertility”, or Why do you …

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Psychological (psychosomatic, psychogenic) infertility is a fairly common situation when a couple who do not have physiological problems with male and female health do not achieve the desired pregnancy for at least a year of attempts. It also happens that pregnancy still occurs, but it cannot be maintained and endured, although, again, the woman has no serious health problems. In this case, doctors often recommend that the couple seek psychological help.

According to some reports, about 30% of couples who seek medical help for infertility experience what is called psychological infertility. The most common causes of psychological infertility encountered in the practice of a psychotherapist are as follows.

1. Increased levels of anxiety in a woman (and a couple in general)

Every woman who decides to become a mother waits with impatience and excitement every month for two cherished strips on the test. But the scale of this excitement can be different, and in the same way it can affect the possibility of conception and the development of pregnancy in the very early stages in different ways. If a woman is anxious by nature or her self-esteem is not very stable, she experiences critically strong anxiety and even fear of failure. In the same fear and uncontrolled anxiety, she listens to her body – has ovulation come? What will the LH test strip show now? Is everything okay with me?

A woman has only one dominant in her head – an obsessive desire to have a child. It is logical that sexual relations in a couple are reduced only to the function of fertilization – scheduled sex on the days of ovulation and further expectation of the onset of a long-awaited pregnancy, which again and again does not occur. Here, relationships in a couple are already beginning to suffer, passion and tenderness are leaving, a feeling of “obligation” and the mechanistic nature of relations appears. As a result, partners in a couple no longer feel light in relationships, irritation, resentment appear, stress accumulates, which in turn can lead to a completely medical diagnosis of ovarian dysfunction. In this case, the ovaries stop producing eggs ready for fertilization, hormonal disruptions begin, which also significantly reduces the chances of conception.

Thus, the expectation of the desired conception turns into constant 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 here is this: anxiety and fear are emotions, and, like any other emotions, they are accompanied by biochemical changes in the system of neurohumoral regulation, namely, jumps in cortisol and adrenaline. High levels of cortisol, in turn, inhibit the production of estrogen and negatively affect progesterone, and also provoke an imbalance between LH and FSH. This results in a violation of the cycle, inhibition of ovulation and a decrease in the growth of the endometrium, 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 of not getting pregnant, but her constant fear hinders conception even more, and one clings to another. In addition, distrust, resentment, annoyance in relation to one’s own body appear.

2. Uncertainty in a partner

Another reason for infertility can be a subconscious feeling that there is not the person with whom you would like to live your whole life and be associated with him forever as a common child. Or a woman unconsciously has a lot of resentment, discontent and insecurity in her partner. In these cases, the woman’s body can block the possibility of pregnancy either by the absence of ovulation, or by an insufficient layer of the endometrium, to which the fertilized egg simply cannot attach.

3. A woman is not mentally mature for pregnancy

The third large layer of causes of psychological infertility lies in the woman’s subconscious unpreparedness for pregnancy.

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

– There are very common cases when the “pursuit” of pregnancy is due mainly to the pressure of society, rather than the true deep-seated need of a woman to bring a new person into the world. The desire to take place in a professional way, other secondary benefits of life without a child (maintaining external attractiveness, a familiar lifestyle with complete freedom of action and movement, full attention from a partner, etc.) can tug the scales, but it’s embarrassing to admit it out loud, because relatives and society will not understand. And then there is an internal conflict that puts a temporary block on the ability to conceive.

—It is also necessary to note an important difference between the desire to become pregnant and the desire to give birth to a child and be a mother to him. During pregnancy, a woman is psychologically in a very comfortable period of her life: the attention of loved ones, a special attitude from other people. And the process of childbirth and motherhood is already a different, qualitatively new period of life. And if a woman is not psychologically ready for this, doubts her competence as a mother, is not sure of her partner, that she can raise a child on her own if necessary, then the pregnancy can be terminated. As a rule, this is typical for women with unstable self-esteem, psychological trauma from childhood, and dysfunctional relationships with their own mother.

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