This November's European Fertility Week focused on mental health and psychological support during reproductive treatment. The proposal was introduced by Fertility Europe, the European umbrella organisation representing associations for patients with reproductive problems, and further supported at the European level by the ESHRE.
Under the campaign slogan #MindsMatter, the scientific and patient communities in the fertility field have joined forces to highlight the importance of emotional support for patients during assisted reproductive treatment.
As regards Spain, the National Infertility Network (RNI) patient association organised a panel discussion on this topic. This event coincides with the annual European Fertility Week and brings together more than a hundred experts and patients in order to move forward regarding reproductive issues.
Cristina López, a psychologist at IVI Madrid and the coordinator of the SEF Psychology Interest Group, was one of the panel participants. During the session, it was clearly shown that "psychological support in assisted reproduction treatment is essential for the patient's mental health and for achieving pregnancy".
According to the psychologist, " addressing the emotions of patients who undergo reproductive treatment helps to reduce abandonment. It therefore has a positive impact on the success rate and on fertility in a country whose growing population has an increasing proportion of babies born thanks to reproductive medicine".
The Psychological Treatment Gap in Infertility
In its 'Ten urgent measures for infertility patients', the patients' association National Infertility Network (RNI) calls for universal access to reproductive treatments including psychological counselling during treatment.
The panel discussion, with illustrator Lyona Ivanova as the speaker for the patients, highlighted the psychological treatment gap in infertility. For many patients, psychological treatment is a luxury that is either unavailable or unknown. Many are also simply unaware of the importance of such treatment.
"Minds Matter is an initiative that has succeeded in emphasising the need to provide patients with this service. Its goal is to improve mental health while undergoing the stressful process of infertility. More information is needed in this regard, and more patients should also be referred to a psychological consultation. Such consultations must be encouraged to bridge the current gap in terms of access to treatment", explains Helena Fernández, president of RNI.
Reproductive psychology, a rising profession
At IVIRMA we belong to the minds matter movement. We are concerned about the mental health of patients with reproductive problems and the success of their treatment. This is why we have developed specialised programmes for professionals based on emotional support.
We also have specific courses for psychologists who wish to specialise in reproduction. This is an ambitious programme led by professionals with extensive experience in the psychological support of infertility patients.
If you would like more information regarding our emotional support or reproductive psychology programmes for professionals, click here.