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In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment itself has been shown to evoke psychological symptoms in women. The relation between distress and IVF success rates seems more complex than commonly believed. Psychological problems are considered to be an effect of infertility rather than a cause. Since the psychological consequences model of infertility became popular in the 1980s, professionals in the infertility field have recommended the provision of psychosocial counseling to couples with fertility problems. Counseling might be more beneficial for couples who already experience high levels of distress at the start of their first IVF cycle. Future research should therefore be aimed at identifying couples that are particularly vulnerable to distress during treatment. Educational interventions which focus on information provision and skills training lead to more positive changes in people with fertility problems than counseling interventions, which focus on emotional expression and support.
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