A qualitative analysis of women who have undergone a multi-stage psychotherapy and hypnotherapy intervention to manage psychological stress while undergoing in-vitro fertilisation: What were their experiences and outcomes?
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The literature is rich with studies addressing stress effects on In Virto Fertilisation (IVF) outcomes. Debate continues regarding whether there is a cause-effect relationship, or merely a correlation, between stress and IVF failure. While several studies have addressed coping mechanisms used by couples undergoing IVF, and the effects of coping mechanisms used at three points within an IVF cycle, the author found no study that presented a programme for women to deal with stress before, during and after IVF cycles. Based on evidence from practice, the author devised a five-phased psychotherapy -hypnotherapy protocol ("IVF-Assist"). This qualitative study provides insights from the narratives of eight 'difficult case' women who underwent the programme, including one who found she would never be able to carry to term. The narratives of both the seven participants who fell pregnant and the one who was unable to carry to term inform future psychotherapy interventions to assist women better address stress effects that could affect IVF outcomes.
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