In a nutshell
This review looked at psychological and mind-body therapies for patients with infertility. It found that mental health outcomes were improved following therapy. It also found that pregnancy rates were higher among patients receiving therapy.
Over 10% of couples of childbearing age have used infertility treatments. Infertility is emotionally challenging. People struggling with infertility have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress increases inflammation and alters hormone levels. Studies suggest depression, anxiety, and stress may be linked to lower pregnancy rates. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mind/body interventions (MBI) are two effective mental health treatments. It is important to evaluate if CBT and MBI can help in reducing stress and improving pregnancy rates in couples with infertility.
Methods & findings
This article reviewed 39 studies of mental health therapies. It included 2746 patients with infertility overall. The studies used a variety of therapies. These included CBT, MBI, art therapy, hypnosis, and stress management.
10 studies looked at the effect of therapies on pregnancy rates. They found the pregnancy rate was 57% higher among patients treated with therapy.
35 studies looked at levels of depression, anxiety, and other psychological outcomes. They found that women had a significant improvement in mental health after therapy. There was a smaller improvement for men. A clear benefit was seen with group therapy. Larger reductions in anxiety were linked to greater improvements in pregnancy rates. There was no difference in the type of therapy used.
The bottom line
This article found that both mental health and pregnancy rates improved after phycological therapy in couples with infertility.
The fine print
There were differences between patients in different studies. These included the type of infertility and which infertility treatments were used.
Published By :
Jan 28, 2015