Psychological gender specific responses to diagnosis of infertility

Psychological interventions in the form of therapies is practiced and as been explored minimally in the Indian context. Eclectic interventions with therapeutic goals can help achieving better quality of life, reducing grief and anxiety that could realistically be achieved with the types of psycho-social interventions used with infertile individuals. Understanding cognitive appraisal, i.e. , the individual’s perception of the fertility problem, assuming that behavioral responses are triggered by cognitive appraisals of the current situation and has a direct impact on the couples well being was one of the needs of the research. Responses to disenfranchised grief, identity seeking and coping with emotions have been the common findings in studies world over. However, there have been no attempts for seeking a need-based psycho-social intervention within cultural boundaries. This study is an attempt to bridge the gap of identifying such an intervention within the Indian cultural context.
Psycho-dynamic and social cognitive intervention models with psycho-education has been seen to help reduction in grief, anger and improving regret of being childless. Psycho-education about the condition and awareness is one of the key indicators that lead to a higher quality of life. Psychological interventions helps in the management of stress by addressing negative cognition’s; however, willingness of the individual to receive a psychological therapy and therapeutic participation is not the only factor to ensure successful conception, it is a synthesis of various physical, emotional, medical and social factors.
Need-based psycho-social interventions are characteristic in its requirements and that it being tailored to assist the current need of the couple and individual. These enable them to optimize their functioning. Covington, 2006, in their handbook mentions that descriptive research studies to understand gender specific responses to diagnosis of infertility is much needed than earlier. Sensitivity to culture, religion, personal space and individual privacy have to be incorporated during interviews with them. The research has been able to identify the role and scope of need-based psycho-social interventions and its impact on involuntarily childless couples. The study further explored these dimensions within its limits to suggest psycho-social interventions for enhancing quality of life.

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