Psychology:
The unfulfilled desire to have children and the psyche

Unwanted childless people experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Starting with the realisation that the desire to have children cannot be fulfilled as easily as initially assumed, to the confrontation that the desire to have children cannot be fulfilled. At first, the focus is on hope and the prospect of solving the problem. These feelings can quickly turn into disappointment and even depression if the treatment is unsuccessful or if the woman has a miscarriage. For many women, a miscarriage is a traumatic event that must not be repressed, but processed. A high is followed by a low. Those affected often describe this phase as one of the most difficult crises or experiences in their lives. The pain that accompanies it is comparable to a death or cancer.

Feelings in the case of an unfulfilled desire to have children

Childlessness is often accompanied by a feeling of failure. Many feel shame and guilt in this connection. Closely connected to this are self-doubt and inferiority complexes, which can lead to thought spirals or even depression. In all cases, involuntary childlessness has an impact on the psyche of those affected. Women in particular find themselves "psychologically exposed" to this challenge. The man's feelings often take a back seat during the process. But men also suffer and have to deal with their own feelings.

The desire to have children

The motives for wanting to have children can be of a completely different nature. For example, there are self- and partner-related aspects. Social pressure also has an effect on the desire to have children. If more and more children are born in the circle of friends and family, the topic is usually permanently present and some affected people withdraw in order not to constantly expose themselves to the pain they feel of being excluded. Many people define their own value (the value of the woman/man) through the family or the desire to have children.

Prospects of success of fertility treatment

The fertility clinics and the success rates of a possible pregnancy give rise to the fantasy of feasibility at any time. So it can quickly happen that the success rates are overestimated and the disappointment afterwards is great. The success rate for artificial insemination methods is currently Ăž 25 % per treatment attempt. This means that out of 100 women who attempt artificial insemination, about 25 become pregnant, i.e. only every fourth treatment leads to the fulfilment of the desire to have a child.

Personal boundaries

Likewise, personal boundaries must be established and adhered to. These boundaries should be discussed and set together before treatment begins. It is useful to think about the following issues:

  • Maximum number of treatments
  • Breaks between treatments
  • Dealing with side effects and health restrictions caused by the treatment
  • Total costs

In order to learn how to deal with involuntary childlessness or the challenges during infertility treatment in a sustainable way, it is beneficial to use professional help.

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