Mind-Body Programs for Infertility
Focusing on each patient's well-being, we want to do everything possible to ease the process of undergoing treatment for infertility and help you achieve your dream of parenthood. Our Mind-Body Program was developed to help relieve emotional and physical distress and try to help your chances of success.
In a variety of studies, Mind-Body Programs have been found to benefit patients undergoing fertility treatment.
As a practice, we offer the latest advances in fertility treatment that technology, research and "western" medicine provide, as well as the most qualified credentials. As part of our holistic approach, we also offer mind-body services and resources that complement advanced medical science.
Our Mind-Body coordinators, Janetti Marotta, PhD, and Kathleen McKenna would be glad to explain our various mind-body programs and help you find support that meets your interests and needs. To contact the program, please call (408) 355-1675.
- Fertility Support Groups
- Fertility Support and Mindfulness—8-week Program (Full Program)
- Fertility Support and Mindfulness—1-day Program (Condensed Intensive Program)
- Fertility Support and Mindfulness—3-week Program (Introductory Program)
- Exploring 3rd Party Parenting
- Special Topic Calls
Helping relieve emotional and physical stress can play an essential part in treatment and have an important effect, so we are pleased to provide the PAMF Fertility Mind-Body Program.
Patients who have participated in our mind-body programs have really benefited!
"If you are struggling with infertility, this workshop is invaluable! It will help you restore yourself, your heart, your outlook, and give you strength and tools to continue on this heartbreaking journey. It was worth every single penny and in a way, it saved my life!"
Research on the Benefit of Mind-Body Programs
The psychological distress of infertility can affect all aspects of life. Depression and anxiety for those diagnosed with infertility has been shown for some to be equal to patients diagnosed with cancer, HIV and heart disease. These emotional effects can also take a toll on your physical health.
Applying a mind-body approach can help you lower your symptoms of stress.
Research has shown that learning stress reduction techniques and connecting the body and mind within a supportive group environment can help with these effects (see below). For participants in PAMF FPNC’s 8-Week Program, ongoing data show an average pregnancy rate of 45 to 50 percent and continuation of fertility treatment within 6 months of program completion of 87 percent, as well as significant decreases in depression and anxiety and significant increases in mindfulness skills.
By examining psychosocial interventions that focus on stress reduction to improve pregnancy rate, the last 20 years have now produced enough high quality research to sufficiently demonstrate the power of the mind-body connection in fertility. A recent meta-analysis of 39 qualified studies found not only decreased symptoms of psychological distress for the intervention groups but also increased pregnancy rates (Frederiksen et al. 2015). In fact, women in the intervention groups were twice as likely to become pregnant than those in the control groups.
Research indicates the primary reason for patients dropping out of treatment is not finances, diagnosis, or prognosis, but stress (Domar, 2004). A systematic review of 22 studies on treatment dropout, reinforce the conclusion that psychological issues are the greatest contributor (Gameiro, Boivin, and Verhaak 2012). Ending treatment after only one IVF cycle is more likely to occur in women determined to be more depressed and anxious before beginning treatment (Smeek, Verhaak, & Stolwijk, 2004). Ironically, the most distressed patients do not seek out psychological support (Boivin, Scanlan, & Walker, 1999).
For further information on The Psychological Component of Infertility please visit reproductivefacts.org.
- A study of 112 infertile women interviewed by a psychiatrist prior to treatment found 40 percent of these women showed symptoms of a depressive or anxiety disorder vs. 3 percent for the average population (Chen et al. 2004).
- Another study reported that, prior to IVF, 70 percent of women had mild to severe depressive symptoms (Demyttenaere et al. 1998).
- Eugster and Vingerhoets (1999) reviewed the literature on the psychological aspects of IVF. They conclude that beyond a doubt, IVF is physically and emotionally stressful for both women and their partners, with depression and anxiety as the most common reactions to treatment.
- A review of stress management and reduction in fertility treatment concludes that psychological interventions to reduce stress related to IVF are generally effective, and that there is ample preliminary evidence that psychological distress impacts fertility, and thus IVF outcome. (Campagne, 2006)
- In a review of literature on psychosocial interventions for infertility, educational groups that emphasized knowledge and skills training (i.e. relaxation training) within a supportive group environment were found to be most effective. (Boivin 2003)
* PAMF's website has numerous links to outside Internet pages, however, we do not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF make any guarantee, warranty or representation regarding the accuracy of the information contained on them. Visit PAMF Privacy & Content Policy for more information.
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