We live in an age when anything you could possibly want to purchase, know, or want support for can be found on the worldwide web; on the internet. More and more each of us searches online for information, even mental-health and fertility-health information. Can online infertility education and support positively impact a woman’s mental and emotional health? One study determines it can!
A randomized-controlled trial of 190 women being seen at fertility centers in the United States were recruited. They were randomly assigned to either one of two experimental groups or one of two no-treatment control groups. The two experimental groups participated in patient psychoeducation online (education for mental/emotional health and preparation for treatment).
Study goal: “…to develop and test the effectiveness of a brief online education and support program for female infertility patients.”
“Infertility distress, infertility self-efficacy, decisional conflict, marital cohesion and coping style” were the psychological outcomes evaluated. The women were followed up with four weeks after program participation both program dosage and satisfaction were also evaluated.
Researchers found that online education and support for women with infertility has proven to positively impact:
- social concerns related to distress caused by infertility
- how informed about and clear on medical decisions the participants felt
- sexual concerns
- distress related to the possibility or reality of living childless
- one’s belief in his/her ability to succeed at becoming fertile and conceiving a child
As the World’s #1 online, natural fertility health educational resource, I don’t think we needed a trail to tell us that women (and men) benefit from online support. These trials are exciting to see nonetheless! We know psychoeducation and emotional health support are necessary for couples going through fertility treatments and may also be for those who aren’t yet having treatment. Mental/emotional health plays a significant role in fertility health and one’s ability to sustain their fight against infertility.
While you can seek support online, there are instances where it would be best to seek professional support or professional counseling to at least help you determine if professional mental health care would be important for you where you’re at on your journey. Never hesitate to ask for help!
Some interesting facts to share: In 2007, the study shares that 95 million Americans (at that time, 80% of the online population) used the Internet for health or medical information in the USA and an average of 23% of people within the European Union (EU) used the internet for health information. These percentages are sure to have grown in the past 10 years.
“In terms of health information specific to infertility, several surveys of Internet use by infertile individuals report that more than half of patients go online to gather fertility-related information, regardless of socioeconomic status… and that the majority find Internet forums valuable for sharing treatment news.”
Because online education and support are what we do best, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to the team at Natural-Fertility-Info.com. We are here to support you as best as we can!
- Cousineau, T. M., Green, T. C., Corsini, E., Seibring, A., Showstack, M. T., Applegarth, L., . . . Perloe, M. (2008, March). Online psychoeducational support for infertile women: a randomized controlled trial. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2993177/
- Weissman A, Gotlieb L, Ward S, Greenblatt E, Casper RF. Use of the Internet by infertile couples. Fertil Steril. 2000;73:1179–1182. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10856479