The art of counselling meets the science of ART

The art of counselling meets the science of ART

A couple (wife 29 years & husband 34 years) from Bangalore was struggling to conceive for almost 1.5 years. The wife also had a history of depression for which she had undergone a 3 month treatment at a renowned hospital in Bangalore. As she recovered her doctor advised her to proceed with fertility treatment options.

They visited the Nova centre in Bangalore for consultation about their infertility condition. The doctors at Nova diagnosed the patient with recurrent pregnancy loss with endometriotic ovaries and diseased tubes. Considering the present medical condition, she was advised to undergo IVF.

Treatment at Nova

Once her treatment started, due to the history of depression, doctors advised the couple to attend counselling sessions at Nova. As the counselling sessions progressed, many issues warranting attention were noticed. For example – couple conflicts due to mood swings, ego related disagreements, as well as disrespect and mistrust towards each other.

Owing to the fact the couple was going through so much, the doctors and the counsellors thought about working on the emotional health of the patient before moving onto any other treatments. Mental health plays a really important role in fertility treatments. One needs to be emotionally ready for this kind of commitment. Counselling also helps with dealing with all the stress and emotions that are associated with these infertility treatments. Keeping all these factors in mind, the Nova team informed the couple that they need to undergo the counselling sessions to increase their chances with the treatment.

The entire care team at Nova put in more efforts and attention towards counselling sessions, as these would help in deciding the further course of action for the couple’s IVF treatment.

Approach towards counselling sessions

The couple was made to sit together and discuss about things bothering them in their day to day life, in which, they did not reveal their own mistakes, but instead blamed each other. Hence the counsellor decided to have individual along with the joint sessions.

  • Individual sessions – The counsellor called the wife and husband separately to her room and discussed about the differences that they had, with an intent to identify why and how the differences started. This gave a clearer picture to the counsellor about the nature of the problems.
  • Couple counselling – Based on the information gathered through individual sessions, the counsellor could plan the joint counselling sessions. The counsellor could help the couple identify the gaps in their relationship. The couple understood each other’s point of view and were receptive of the feedback received about their behaviour and mistakes. They were open and decided to follow the instructions given by the counsellor. The counsellor advised the couple for the following:
    • Family time – To spend at least 1 hour with each other every day
    • Vent out – Write down feelings in a diary or share it with each other
    • Self-time – Spend at least half an hour for yourself, to understand yourself well. This gives strength to deal with any problems that come your way.
    • Rational thinking – Understand if your thoughts are right for the moment, and thereafter decide to act on the situation. 

How did all this planning work for the couple?

As the counselling sessions progressed, doctors closely monitored patients’ emotional wellbeing and their mutual bonding. Once the counsellors felt that the couple was stable and ready, they informed the fertility specialist to continue with the fertility treatment.

The fertility treatment combined with the counselling sessions resulted in a positive pregnancy for the couple. They were very happy and so was the care team at Nova. They had not only helped this couple conceive and have a baby, but also helped them find love and mutual respect for each other.

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