What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?

Pregnancy is one of the important events in women's lives, which can bring a lot of happiness and may be a source of stress and anxiety. Most women's concerns are related to the pain of childbirth and the mistakes that may occur during the process. These are normal concerns that almost all women experience to some degree. Normal anxieties are usually resolved with education, getting support from people around you, and talking to a doctor, but sometimes the fear of pregnancy is so intense that it causes many problems for women. It is called Tokophobia. Women with this phobia may refuse to get pregnant despite their desire to have children, or if pregnancy occurs, they may prefer caesarean section to natural delivery.

BingMag.com What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?

Pregnancy is one of the important events in women's lives, which can bring a lot of happiness and may be a source of stress and anxiety. Most women's concerns are related to the pain of childbirth and the mistakes that may occur during the process. These are normal concerns that almost all women experience to some degree. Normal anxieties are usually resolved with education, getting support from people around you, and talking to a doctor, but sometimes the fear of pregnancy is so intense that it causes many problems for women. It is called Tokophobia. Women with this phobia may refuse to get pregnant despite their desire to have children, or if pregnancy occurs, they may prefer caesarean section to natural delivery.

Tokophobia affects only women who have experienced pregnancy. And it does not involve those who have not given birth, but it may also be seen among those who have gone through difficult births. To learn about this problem and ways to deal with it, read this article from BingMag until the end.

Symptoms of Tokophobia

Tokophobia is a type of phobia and anxiety disorder that sufferers They have irrational and unreasonable fear of a specific subject or situation. Symptoms of tokophobia can include sleep disturbance, panic attacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors. Other symptoms of fear of pregnancy and childbirth include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Extreme fear of birth defects, stillbirth or death of the mother
  • Feeling of fear with Thinking about pregnancy and childbirth
  • Insisting on cesarean delivery

Sometimes women may avoid any sexual activity due to the fear of getting pregnant or if they do get pregnant Insist on cesarean delivery, experience trauma or trauma during childbirth, and even have difficulty communicating with their child.

It is possible that men also experience tokophobia. Researchers have found that men with tokophobia often have a strong fear about the health and safety of their spouse and child. 22675-2.jpg" class="content-pics" alt="BingMag.com What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?" title="BingMag.com What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?" loading="lazy">

Researchers have suggested various reasons for developing tokophobia, for example, hearing about other women's experiences, fear of not being able to control pain, fear for the baby's life, mistrust of medical staff, Fear of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth such as preeclampsia and death, psycho-social factors such as being pregnant at a young age, being poor or lacking social support, and suffering from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can play a role in the occurrence of this problem. /p>

There are two types of tokophobia:

  • Primary: Primary tokophobia occurs in women who have never experienced childbirth. This fear can start during adolescence or after getting pregnant. In addition, it is more likely to occur in girls and women who have been sexually assaulted. Medical examinations during pregnancy may also play a role in inducing this type of fear.
  • Secondary: Secondary tokophobia occurs in women who have already experienced pregnancy and childbirth. In other words, it is often the result of experiencing a difficult birth. However, it can also occur in women who have had normal, uncomplicated births, as well as women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful fertility treatments.

Prevalence of Tokophobia

It is completely normal to be worried about pregnancy and childbirth, and even a reasonable amount of it can be beneficial in some ways, because it prompts women to see a doctor to deal with these worries.

Approximately 80 percent of pregnant women experience some degree of anxiety and worry about things like pain, health, and safe delivery, and most women can manage these concerns by learning more about the birth process, talking to other women, and consulting with their doctor. /p>

However, in some cases this fear can become so intense and debilitating that it is diagnosed as tokophobia. The exact prevalence of tokophobia is not known, but some studies show that 2-15% of women experience this problem. However, there is also evidence that 20-25% of women may have severe and debilitating symptoms of fears related to childbirth. They have a type of fear. Women with moderate fear may be in the same group as women who experience severe anxiety, or some women may not be diagnosed despite having tokophobia. Tragedy

BingMag.com What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?

It is estimated that 3% of postpartum women suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ) be. PTSD symptoms can include re-envisioning or reminiscing about the event, ringing in the ears being (constantly monitoring the surroundings for self-care) and having nightmares about the event in question.

Sometimes women who have PTSD symptoms are diagnosed as having secondary tokophobia. PTSD or postpartum tokophobia may also be confused with postpartum depression. It is necessary to distinguish these disorders from each other to ensure proper and effective treatment.

Treatment of fear of pregnancy and childbirth

Women with tokophobia should work with a gynecologist and a psychologist or psychiatrist. be treated to ensure the health of the mother and the fetus. A mental health specialist can diagnose the causes of such fear and help treat it. Obstetricians and gynecologists also help to solve the mother's worries about pregnancy and childbirth by providing necessary care and education.

1. Support from those around you

Getting social support is important for dealing with tokophobia. Some women feel more relaxed just knowing that there are people to help and support them. Such support can strengthen women's sense of self-efficacy and even influence their decision to have a cesarean delivery.

Studies have shown that supporting women with tokophobia plays an important role in minimizing this problem. Effective support can occur individually or through support groups. Such support is often provided by people women already know, such as family members or friends, but can also come from gynecologists, midwives, psychologists, or counselors. Childbirth is effective. The results of a study showed that women who felt in control of their bodies and were well informed about the birthing process were less afraid.

Many women seek the guidance and support of those who have already experienced have had children. For example, hearing the experiences of your mother, sister, family members, and friends can help reduce your fear of childbirth and pregnancy. Research shows that supporting women who have a strong fear of childbirth reduces the desire to have a cesarean section by 50%.

2. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy

Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be effective in controlling tokophobia. A group of researchers compared the effectiveness of standard care with Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy and concluded that both approaches reduced fear, but that CBT was more effective in reducing symptoms. However, only a small number of women completed CBT treatment, which shows the low acceptance of this therapeutic approach by patients.

3. Medications

Medications can be used alone or in combination with other treatment approaches to address the underlying causes of tokophobia, such as depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disorders.

Ways to deal with tokophobia

BingMag.com What is tokophobia and how to deal with it?

If you feel that the intense fear of childbirth and pregnancy can affect your life, use the following coping strategies Get help with it:

1. Talk about your feelings

Talking to your doctor or midwife, as well as trusted family members and friends, can be very helpful. Having people who understand your fears and can support you helps reduce anxiety.

2. Plan your birth

Talk to your doctor about your wants and needs, such as ways to manage your pain and how you will give birth. Having a specific plan will help you feel more in control.

3. Avoid listening to the unpleasant experiences of others

Hearing such stories can intensify your fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Instead, seek out valid medical information and focus on positive birth experiences. If someone talks to you about such disturbing stories, ask them to stop.

4. Attend prenatal classes

If you are educated about what happens during labor and what you can do to manage pain, your fears will go a long way.

5. Talk to a mental health professional

If fear of pregnancy and childbirth is interfering with your life, ask your doctor to refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor for professional help.

Final Word

Although tokophobia is rare, it can have a huge impact on a woman's life and functioning. People who are extremely afraid of childbirth may refuse to get pregnant, even despite wanting to have children. Proper support and treatment can remove the fear of pregnancy and childbirth and turn it into a positive experience.

This article is only for education and information purposes. Before using the recommendations of this article, be sure to consult a specialist doctor. For more information, read BingMag Disclaimer.

Source: Verywellmind

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