What role do counsellors play during an IVF journey?

Many couples are unable to conceive naturally, and they may experience an emotional turmoil because of it. While there are options available, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), it is a time-consuming process which can impact a person’s mental health, too.

There is a certain fear of the unknown associated with the treatment, such as what to expect. It can give rise to emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, envy, guilt, negativity, lack of confidence, loss of control and low self-esteem.

According to Saloni Egbert, senior counsellor and centre manager at ART Fertility Clinics, New Delhi, the primary reason infertility is not discussed openly with friends and family in India is because couples may feel they won’t understand or they themselves may find it difficult to express.

This is where compassion and care come into the picture. Egbert says IVF treatment counselling offers a “non-judgemental platform” for patients to be well-informed about the treatments best suited to their conditions.

“In India, people still do not talk openly about IVF due to taboos associated with infertility and assisted reproductive techniques. This fails to provide infertile couples the chance of exploring their feelings, leading them to build a wall around themselves. Having straight-forward discussions will not only debunk misconceptions, but also give a vision to options that went unnoticed. Apart from this, talking to an expert boosts your confidence,” she says.

Therapeutic support

Egbert says every counselling session has a therapeutic aspect. “It does not give you solutions, but helps you find them, bringing down depression and anxiety which often arises from societal pressures, bad memories or troubled relationships relating to infertility issues. These sessions work as support systems to even the most agitated mind feeling suicidal,” she says, adding that support groups and informational meetings can reduce feelings of isolation and provide opportunities to learn and share with others experiencing infertility.

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