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Examines the role of a counselor to infertile couples.

What is the role of a counselor?

What is the role of a counselor?

Independent counseling services should be made easily available for patients undergoing infertility treatment. This counseling should be available at any time, before, during and after treatment. A counselor should be aware of the particular need of the couple and also be independent. This may mean that he or she may take the side of the couple in pursuit of their peace of mind.

Who is the fertility counselor?

The counselor in most infertility centers is a person with scientific back ground in the humanistic science such as psychology or social worker. In most cases, the counselors have followed psychotherapy course that influences them in the theoretical framework of their counseling. The role of counselor is to help infertile couples process their emotions and to arrive at a situation with which they feel comfortable and with which they can live a normal life. It is essential that counseling must be informal and effective and not a hindrance and waste of time. Counselors should have up-to-date knowledge of infertility and assisted reproductive treatments.

Diana Marcus and colleagues carried out an internet based survey (Human Fertility, 2007). They analyzed how useful did infertile patients find counseling and the main reasons why patients may opt not to receive counseling and reported that over half of the patients found counseling either 'very helpful' or 'helpful'. No differences were observed in the perceived usefulness of counselling, comparing those patients who were offered, and chose to receive, counselling versus those who received mandatory counselling. In patients who did not receive counselling, the main reasons cited were: 'felt I can cope on my own' (37%), 'counselling was not offered' (21%), and 'did not think it would be beneficial' (15%).

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