According to studies, infertile couples experience significant anxiety and emotional distress. When fertility treatments fail, women and couples may experience strong feelings of grief and loss.
While infertility is a problem faced by many couples, shame and privacy remain common among people facing infertility. Not being able to conceive after trying for a long period of time can be deeply disappointing and frustrating.
Although many people with fertility issues can have a child after treatment, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), anxiety about whether the treatment will work can be detrimental to a person's mental health.
Dr. Neha, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility East, Patna shares some of the reasons why people who are infertile suffer from depression.
Infertility can be a stressful experience, especially if someone is under a lot of pressure to conceive.
Several medical conditions that can lead to infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may also raise the risk of depression.
Emotional And Physical Difficulties
Anxiety and depression worsened as treatment progressed in a trial of women seeking infertility treatment or fertility-preserving services.
Adverse Effects Of Treatment
Hormones are used in many fertility treatments. These hormones can sometimes have an effect on a person's mood, increasing the risk of depression.
Signs And Symptoms
Dr. Neha also shares some of the signs and symptoms of infertility.
- Bad mood or feeling depressed
- Losing interest in most of the activities
- Naturally gaining or losing weight
- Insufficient or too much sleep
- Feeling physically agitated or restless
- Having low energy
- Feeling guilty, or embarrassed
- Difficulty in thinking or focusing
- Regular thoughts of death or suicide.
Negative Impacts On Health
Many studies have shown that depression can have a negative impact on physical health, including the following.
Gain Or Loss Of Weight
People suffering from depression may experience changes in their appetite, which can result in unintended weight loss or gain.
Excessive weight gain has been linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease, according to medical experts. Being underweight can be harmful to the heart, impair fertility, and cause fatigue.
Depression can cause unexplained aches and pains, such as joint or muscle pain, breast tenderness, and headaches. Chronic pain can intensify a person's depression symptoms.
Depression can lower a person's motivation to make healthy lifestyle choices. They are more likely to develop heart disease if they eat a poor diet and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Chronic stress and depression have been linked to inflammation and may alter the immune system, according to inflammation research. Other research suggests that depression may be caused by chronic inflammation. People who are depressed more probable have inflammatory or autoimmune disorders such as IBS, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis.
Sexual Health Issues
People who are depressed may have a lower libido, difficulty becoming aroused, orgasms that are no longer pleasurable, orgasms that are less pleasurable. Some people suffer from relationship problems as a result of their depression, which can have an impact on their sexual activity.
When Should You See A Doctor?
People suffering from infertility and depression should seek treatment for both conditions. Although infertility may be the root cause of depression, it is critical to address the mental health issues as well.
Dr. Neha says, “Women over the age of 35, on the other hand, should see a doctor if they haven't gotten pregnant after 6 months of trying. Couples with a history of infertility, women with irregular periods, and people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes should consult a doctor.”
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“If a person's depression symptoms make it difficult for them to function at home, work, or school, or if seeking treatment for infertility seems impossible, they should seek help. Depression can lead people to believe that treatment will be ineffective. This, however, could be a sign of depression. Treatment can and frequently does alleviate depression symptoms and improve a person's quality of life,” Dr. Neha adds.