Depression and infertility problems

One of the causes of depression in women is hormonal fluctuations.

But you shouldn’t despair. Many women go through depression due to endocrine disruption. With the right treatment approach, they manage to normalize their condition and live without resorting to antidepressants. How to deal with depression?

The feeling of anxiety often begins to torment a woman even during the preparation for the IVF protocol. And even then you should think about how to normalize your condition. A woman before the IVF procedure should understand all the possible consequences. Successful IVF accounts for approximately 33%, that is, every third woman becomes pregnant. But it may also happen that you do not enter this percentage. Think about what to do next if this time you do not find a long-awaited pregnancy? What else can you do that is acceptable to you?

Many couples undergo additional examinations, treatment, preparation for a new IVF protocol – in order to get into the “happy percentage”. And some are forced to resort to the services of a surrogate mother in order to unite their sex cells using the IVF procedure, and still be able to become parents to their baby. Someone takes babies from baby houses, and someone is helped by work and communication with other people’s children. Each person makes his own choice.

To understand how to overcome depression, you need to know its mechanisms. Depression occurs when the body ceases to receive its usual chemical compounds, on which it was easy for it to work, and switches to more economical activities. People who have been receiving various stimulants for some time (be it sugar, hormonal drugs, drugs that facilitate the activity of biochemical processes) will experience depression after giving them up.

The body, not receiving the usual nourishment, cannot immediately rebuild its biochemical processes. It introduces a “savings mode” and blocks the vigorous activity of the endocrine system. In this case, the body does not receive the usual doses of hormones, and the person experiences a state of depression.

It should be understood that it is impossible to get rid of depression in one pill. Chemical antidepressants do not help, but put the body to work with another nutrient. So, after stopping the drug, you may again become depressed. It is necessary to help the body survive the restructuring faster and learn to live and work on the conditions that we offer it, using herbal medicines, vitamin and mineral preparations, natural foods and an active lifestyle.

To get out of depression faster, start moving actively, at least two hours a day. It can be dancing, long walks in the fresh air, classes in the gym, athletics. The movement will force the body to work actively, remove toxins, improve the production of its own hormones.

To get rid of depression faster, eat healthy food. It is known that proper nutrition contributes to the production of endorphins, hormones of joy. When fighting depression, it is necessary to exclude harmful foods that block the production of endorphins in the body. These are chips that may contain harmful acids. Industrial ham – due to the large amount of preservatives, fillers and nitrates. Sugary carbonated drinks – additives and preservatives contained in them can disrupt metabolic processes. Shelled pumpkin seeds contain the preservative potassium bromate, which blocks the thyroid gland. Salted peanuts contain artificial preservatives that harm the human endocrine system.

Cold-pressed vegetable oils help optimize nutrition. For the female body, walnut oil is most suitable, which helps to restore the body after painful conditions, including depression. It helps to eliminate harmful substances from the body that depress the endocrine system of a woman. Flaxseed oil is good for the adrenal glands. It is used for problems with the pituitary gland and ovaries. Amaranth oil stimulates the entire endocrine system as a whole. By eating these oils in small portions, you will enrich the body with natural vitamins and minerals, which in turn normalize hormonal metabolism.

With psychological infertility, when both partners with childbearing functions are all right, and pregnancy does not occur, depression can also develop. In this case, you may need to consult a psychotherapist. And some families are helped by a change of scenery – for example, there are cases when, after the cessation of a long unsuccessful treatment, pregnancy occurred naturally!

Fertility is highly valued in most cultures and the desire to have a child is perhaps one of the main human instincts. For women, pregnancy and motherhood are critical developmental milestones that are highly emphasized in our culture. When attempts to have a baby fail, it can be an emotionally devastating experience. Infertility is considered regular timely sexual intercourse that does not lead to conception for 12 months. Failure to achieve one of the vital goals leads to crushing frustration. The reaction to the diagnosis may be guilt, anger, anxiety, depression.

At first this is a complete surprise. Most couples are sure that pregnancy will occur soon after stopping the use of contraceptives. The couple begins to explore their habits and lifestyles to try to understand why they are unable to conceive. And if they try to share their failures with someone, they get a lot of advice and recommendations, the main one of which can be “just relax”.

Women often assume that they are the cause of unsuccessful conception. This can lead to intense guilt and question their role as a wife and potential mother. Intrusive thoughts about infertility permeate their entire daily lives and threaten their normal activities at work and at home.

Another common emotional reaction to infertility is depression. Depression can be cyclical and coincide with specific events, such as a vacation with friends who have children, the announcement of a family member about pregnancy. Depression is exacerbated by a feeling of loss of control over one’s life. For many couples who have been able to achieve just about every goal they set for themselves, not being able to conceive may be the first time they’ve lost control of their lives. For some, this effort translates into control of every step of their diagnosis and medical treatment, as a defense mechanism against a deep sense of helplessness.

At some point in the next examination, the couple has a strong feeling of anger. It seems that life has treated them unfairly. Feelings of anger increase when couples are confronted with people complaining about the burdensome burden of pregnancy, parenthood, or when they see women with unwanted pregnancies. One partner may become angry with the other if he or she feels that he or she is not experiencing the same degree of emotional pain or putting in the same amount of effort to successfully conceive.

The infertile person also experiences a loss of self-esteem, repeatedly trying to achieve the desired goal (bearing a child), but failing to achieve this goal. This can seriously damage self-esteem. The problem is exacerbated when the person has been highly successful in other areas of life and has not developed the skill to deal with failure and loss. At this point, there is a risk of the breakdown of relationships, both marital and relationships with family and friends. Unfortunately, this happens just at the moment when everyone needs increased emotional support. An additional burden on the relationship can be changes in the couple’s sex life. Compliance with all medical recommendations in an intimate life scheduled by time makes marital intimacy a responsible job.

All this leads to the fact that couples often mask feelings of pain, anxiety and fear. They internally freeze feelings at the sight of other couples on a walk with a stroller, ignore children’s television channels, family magazines, communicate only with those friends who do not have children.

It is important to note separately that the problem of infertility is a problem of a married couple, regardless of which member of the couple has medical specialties. As a result, if one of the family members has decided to seek psychological support, it is recommended that they attend therapy together in order to remain a support for their partner and save the marriage. After all, infertility is a life crisis that spouses must overcome together, like any other crisis. It will take time and deep emotional involvement to first get over the guilt, anger and depression, accept the nature of your body, and then look for options to have a baby outside of pregnancy. However, by continuing to persevere towards your goal, the choice of how to build your family eventually transforms from a vague possibility to the reality of the joy and happiness of parenthood.

Depression in infertility

Often women who have been diagnosed with infertility become desperate and suffer from depression. Someone continues to fight for motherhood, someone gives up, but everyone feels equally bad.

Previously, depression was considered nothing more than a psychological disorder, but now it is more likely to be called a serious illness that requires treatment. International scientists have an opinion that it is necessary to treat infertility simultaneously with the treatment of depression. It will be difficult to achieve a good result, but it is possible. And here it is important for a woman to cooperate with a doctor, not to suppress her condition and not hide it, so as not to aggravate the situation. Exacerbations of depression are so insidious that they will negatively affect her physical health.

Statistics say that depression is a companion of one in six women in couples who are struggling with infertility. Anxiety symptoms are easy to recognize – negative thoughts, apathy, pessimism, inhibition of movements, low self-esteem, a sense of loss of the meaning of life. Unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant cannot but affect a woman’s mood, but it is important to recognize depression and start treating it.

What else to pay attention to:

-constant feeling of tiredness;

-difficulty concentrating, problems with memory;

-feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness;


-feelings of guilt, anxiety for no reason;

-loss of interest in what previously caused it;

-violation of eating behavior (increased appetite or its absence);

-sleep disturbance (including insomnia, constant drowsiness);

-thoughts of suicide.

If a woman is familiar with these symptoms, then she needs to see a doctor, as this may indicate that she has depression.

Women are designed in such a way that they have a need to share their experiences and emotions with someone. In the case of manifestations of symptoms of depression, this will only benefit. Speaking out your pain to a close friend, family member, or partner can make the woman feel a little better.

Communication with survivors of infertility

Who better to understand a woman trying to conceive without success than a woman who has had a similar experience or is going through it now? Therefore, you can look for such people around you – the Internet will come to the rescue. The feeling that a woman is not left alone with her problem is encouraging and empowering. Moreover, on the Internet, unlike in real life, people are more open and will try to help a friend in misfortune, share useful tips, and discuss with her what worries her. In turn, the woman herself should not be afraid to speak out her fears and share her feelings. Even if virtual frankness will do her good.

Self help

How can you help yourself overcome depression in infertility? Here everyone is looking for something to their liking, which will help to relax and be distracted. It can be yoga or meditation, reading, listening to your favorite music. Anything, if only a woman could “switch”, letting go of her problem and stop focusing on negative thoughts. After all, pregnancy can still occur, and it is much better if the expectant mother is ready for her not only with her body, but also with her soul.

A woman in a depressed state needs to remember that all these feelings are quite natural against the background of the fact that such a desired goal is still unattainable for her. You need to take care of yourself and be sure to consult a doctor so as not to aggravate the situation.

Depression-related causes of infertility and treatment

Infertility and depression often go together. While you may not be surprised to learn that infertility can lead to depression, you may not know that people who experience depression are more likely to have fertility problems.

You may also be surprised to know that depression during and after pregnancy (postpartum depression) is more common in women who have tried to conceive.

But just because depression is a common occurrence among fertility problems doesn’t mean you should ignore it or leave it untreated.

You can get hit with the blues when your period hits, when a fertility test comes back with bad news, when treatment fails, or when you’re diagnosed with infertility.

You may also feel sad when you are reminded of your fertility struggles, such as when a friend is throwing a baby shower or your sister is having her fourth child.

One of the differences between sadness and depression is that sadness goes away after a while, while depression lingers, comes with other symptoms, and interferes with your life.

Signs of depression include:

Sadness that lasts for weeks or months.
Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Frequent crying or tears.
Often annoying or intolerant of others, especially people you are used to enjoying.
Lack of motivation, struggling to do work in the office or around the house.
Difficulty sleeping, either too much or not sleeping well (insomnia).
Difficulty eating, overeating or poor appetite.
Struggling with testing pleasure in life, including low interest in sex.
Frequent feelings of anxiety or restlessness.
Thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide. (If you are planning to commit suicide, seek help immediately.)

If what you’re dealing with sounds like “just the blues” rather than full blown depression, don’t let that stop you from seeking help.

Many things that help people with depression, such as counseling, support groups, and mind-body therapies, can also help with infertility.

What causes infertility associated with depression?

Infertility is a stressful condition that greatly affects your sex life, relationships, self-esteem and daily life.

During testing and treatment, infertility can literally feel like it has become your whole life as you go to and from doctor’s appointments.

All this stress can potentially contribute to the development of depression.

Depression is more common among people with fertility problems who have a family history of depression, who experienced depression before they struggled with fertility, or those who do not have a support network.

Infertility often brings on feelings of shame, which can make it difficult to talk to friends and family about your struggles. This isolation makes depression more likely.

Some of the hormonal imbalances that cause infertility can also contribute to mood symptoms and vulnerability to depression.

Be sure to let your doctors know if you’re having any feelings of low mood, as this can help them diagnose your infertility and manage your overall treatment.

Can depression cause infertility?

No one knows for sure whether depression itself can cause infertility, although some studies have found a correlation between depression and increased levels of infertility.

Some suggest that this may be due to the overlap of some of the hormonal issues associated with both conditions.

In addition, depression can lead to lifestyle habits that can negatively affect your fertility.

For example, depression often causes overeating or lack of appetite, and being overweight or underweight can cause infertility.

Depressed people are more likely to smoke or drink, which can also harm your fertility.

Will pregnancy cure depression?

If pregnancy is not contributing to depression, it seems logical to assume that eventually achieving pregnancy will cure depression.

In fact, those who have experienced infertility are more likely to experience depression during pregnancy and are at an increased risk of postpartum depression.

If I never get pregnant, will I always feel depressed?

Being unable to get pregnant or not have children due to adoption or other means does not mean that you will feel depressed for the rest of your life. You can find happiness in life again.

However, once depression has taken hold, it is unlikely to resolve on its own.

The researchers found that after IVF failure, some couples were still experiencing grief up to three years later. Counseling can help you get through the grieving process and reclaim your life after infertility.

How to feel better

Some couples are hesitant to seek treatment for depression, thinking that antidepressants should not be taken when trying to conceive.

While some antidepressants can negatively affect your fertility, not all medications do. In fact, some studies have shown that treating depression and antidepressants together increase pregnancy success.

However, for mild depression, antidepressants are only one of many treatment options. Depression can also be treated with talk therapy, support groups, and psychotherapy.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience depression during infertility. Many fertility clinics offer counseling or support groups.

Your fertility doctor may also adjust your fertility medications by giving fewer medications that can affect your mood, as fertility medications can make depression worse and cause mood swings.