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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Experiencing Infertility: The Psychological Care of Individuals and Couples

by Kerry Sherman, PhD 3 CE Credits

It is estimated that 1 in every 6 couples of childbearing age experience some form of compromised fertility or medically diagnosable infertility. Whether or not to pursue infertility treatment and undergo assisted reproduction constitutes a major life decision for patients, decisions that are often accompanied by stressful medical procedures and psychological sequelae no matter what the outcome. The information in this course serves as a resource for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers who work with infertile patients and highlights the need for a broad approach that encompasses the concerns of the individual, as well as the couple as a dyad and the family as a unit. The course discusses and addresses issues that present in the care of infertility patients. Broad theoretical models within Health Psychology and empirically-based infertility-specific data guide the course content.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • The Etiology of Infertility
  • Treatment of Infertility
  • Psychological Impact of Infertility and Infertility Treatment
  • Where Are Patients on the Infertility Continuum?
  • Infertility-Related Stress: What Contributes To It?
  • The Experience of Loss and Grief: The Common Denominator
  • Coping with Infertility: Adaptive Vs. Maladaptive
  • The Path Following Successful Infertility Treatment
  • Psychological and Psychosocial Interventions with Infertility Patients
  • Summary
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Discuss the 4 views on the etiology of infertility, the 4 commonly used infertility treatments and the empirical evidence on the psychological adjustment to infertility.
  • Identify 3 of the common psychological responses to infertility treatment and individual differences in coping of males and females.
  • Indicate the 3 main psychological techniques that facilitate adaptation to infertility and its treatment and their clinical application within the infertility population.