Pending confirmation of pregnancy, parents can benefit from the support of a trained specialist to guide them through this difficult journey. Fertility coaches in Germany, Switzerland and France begun offering this service only recently.
Although infertility is experienced by both men and women, , women generally “suffer the most”. Feelings “are similar to an existential crisis”, or “burnout”. During assisted reproductive treatment, which is often difficult and time-consuming, “repeated failures or unfavourable outcomes following treatment can lead to misunderstanding and anxiety”, and “life seems to stop when waiting to have a child”.
“Women are often fraught with distress, anxiety and a sense of worthlessness,” explains Magalie a sexologist and psychotherapist who provides women with the help and support she missed when she was in a similar situation, feeling “lost” and “in pain”. It is not a case of getting them to stop thinking about pregnancy. Instead, the focus is on “removing their guilt and changing the way they think about it”. The aim is to “stop women from spiralling downwards with low self-esteem and anxiety so that they start to love themselves as they are”. “That approach calmed me down and helped me to see my body in a different, better light”, says Magalie whose practice is located in the Centre de Fertilité de l’Est Parisien (CFEP). She recommends “a global body-and-mind approach” involving both partners as much as possible.
The main source of suffering appears to be “loss of control”, especially in the current context of widespread contraception: “For many years, the focus has been on preventing unwanted pregnancies. This presents the illusion that you can decide when to have a child, as soon as you realise that you want to start a family… There’s an element of impatience and the misconception that current techniques can be used to overcome anything and everything”.
In her new role, Magalie—a former bank employee, is delighted to “be able to help others”, and to tackle what she views as a “lack of psychological support” for couples who want to have children.
 In Switzerland, 30% of infertility cases are of male origin, 30% of female origin, 20% of mixed origin and 20% of unknown origin.
Institut Européen de Bioéthique (05/04/2018) ; France Info (09/04/2018)