Effects of Infertility on Your Mental Health
Infertile women are more likely to suffer from depression than fertile women. Many women grow up with the expectation that they will become mothers one day, so infertility can negatively impact a woman's sense of self. Many women also feel unable or uncomfortable discussing their fertility problems with family and friends, and instead carry the emotional burden of infertility alone. When an infertile woman's family members pressure her about getting pregnant, the symptoms of depression are even more severe and frequent.
These factors all contribute to infertile women's susceptibility to depression. As a matter of fact, many infertile women report levels of depression as severe as that experienced by people diagnosed with heart disease and cancer!
The Effect of Depression on Fertility
For a woman experiencing fertility problems, her accompanying depression can interfere with other areas of her life. The cycle is a vicious one: fertility problems can cause a woman to be depressed, and the side effects of this depression will, in turn, make it even more difficult for a woman to conceive.
Depression can interfere in a woman's relationship with her significant other. As a result, a woman's depression frequently interferes with a couple's ability to approach fertility treatments as a team, leaving the woman feeling even more depressed and alone.
Depression can also disrupt a woman's sleeping patterns. If a woman is not getting enough sleep or is getting too much sleep, her reproductive system can suffer, making it even more difficult to conceive. Depression's other side effects include weight gain, hopelessness, guilt, and fatigue, which can all contribute to a lack of libido—something that will absolutely not help a woman conceive!
If you are suffering from fertility problems and feel depressed as a result, battling both conditions may seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are effective options available that will help you manage and treat your depression so that you can focus your energy on becoming pregnant.
Talk to your doctor about possible antidepressants. Antidepressants are very effective in mitigating the symptoms of depression, and are available in a variety of forms. Unfortunately, many antidepressants should not be taken by women who are trying to become pregnant. Antidepressants can also have side effects. Talk to your doctor about your desire to become pregnant, explain any fertility treatments that you are undergoing, and disclose any other health conditions that could potentially interfere with these medications.
If antidepressants are not for you, consider seeing a therapist. There are many therapies available that can help with the symptoms of depression, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, psychotherapy, and group therapy.
There are also support groups both online and in offline that help women talk about and cope with infertility. These programs are particularly effective if you feel like you cannot talk about your infertility with other people in your life. You can share your feelings with other women who are experiencing the same feelings that you have. Contact specialists, such as those from Awaken Integrative Wellness, for further assistance.