Mindfulness for Fertility

Intervention #22 Mindfulness
Fact Check

  • Mindfulness based interventions, once a week, between 8 to 12 weeks can have a positive impact on experiences of infertility.
  • It promotes self-compassion, adaptive emotion regulation and infertility-related coping strategies, which, in turn, may influence quality of life and pregnancy rates.
Mindfulness is “the process of paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally to allow the unfolding of the moment by moment experiences”.

Emotional adjustment in couples with infertility is complex as couples have to deal with:

  • Stress of infertility diagnosis.
  • Infertility associated identity crisis.
  • Dealing with the ongoing infertility treatment.
  • High possibility of unsuccessful treatment cycles.
  • Choosing treatment options.
  • Uncertainty of outcomes of consecutive cycles (nonresponse, abandonment, failure).
  • Unwanted effects (repeated cycles of treatments, multiple gestations, high rates of miscarriages, limited live birth rates, and other obstetric risks).

There is evidence that Mindfulness-Based Interventions can have a positive impact on people’s experiences of infertility. These consist of one session per week and duration may range from 8 to 12 weeks. In this programme, you have access to several mindfulness recordings for different stages of the journey.

Research on mindfulness and fertility

  • By the end of the intervention, women revealed a significant increase in mindfulness, self-compassion, meaning-based coping strategies.
  • Inversely, they presented a significant decrease in emotion regulation difficulties, active- and passive-avoidance coping strategies.
  • There were statistically significant differences between participants in the pregnancy rates: at six months post-intervention, mindfulness participants were significantly more likely to have become pregnant (45%) than were controls (26%).
  • Improves infertility‐related QoL, enhances awareness, increases acceptance and regained control over life.
  • Improves the psychological well-being of infertile women, including their self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth.
  • Women who attended the program revealed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms, internal and external shame, entrapment, and defeat. Inversely, they presented statistically significant improvement in mindfulness skills and self-efficacy to deal with infertility.
  • MBIs led to reduction in emotional distress, pain perception, depression, and anxiety after 3–6 months of continued practice.
  • Women in the intervention group had significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and stress and were 4.5 times more likely to become pregnant than those in the control group.
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