The Psychology of Infertility in Reproductive Medicine and Healthcare, c. 1940s–2000s

  • Sofia Gameiro
  • Jacky BoivinEmail author


This chapter explores the interrelation of psychology and reproductive medicine, identifies the major turning points in the psychology of infertility, and demonstrates the past and present contributions of psychology to infertility medicine. It identifies several different historical markers in psychological models of infertility: the psychogenic infertility model, based on Freud’s theory of hysterical conversion; the psychological sequelae model, which argued that infertility was an emotionally difficult experience and that couples required professional support in order to cope with it; the entrenchment of mental health professionals within the field of infertility treatment following the introduction of in vitro fertilization; the move towards evidence-based medicine to justify psychological interventions in the 1990s; and the integrated approach to infertility care that is currently in use. This chapter assesses the main features of these models, the reasons for shifts between different approaches, and recent developments in psychological care within infertility medicine.


Counselling History Infertility Psychology 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development and Health PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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