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The Link Between Infertility and Depression


For a lot of people, their TTC journey is very draining. Infertility is upsetting, and many people experience periods of stress, depression, or hopelessness. In serious cases, infertility can lead to depression in some people.

Infertility patients were found to have a high incidence of major depressive disorder, according to studies. And many have found that depression is high among infertile women - and the factors stem from the loss of self-esteem, stigmatization, feeling alone, lack of empathy, long bouts of treatments as well as financial stress. It is also discovered that women carry more psychological burden than their male partners when the cause of infertility comes from the male.

Other reasons for declined mental health during infertility:

Social pressures and stigmatization can be very stressful. And a lot of infertile couples have to face unsolicited advice as well as hurtful comments about their condition.

Medical conditions  

Discovering underlying health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or faulty genes can increase the risk of depression. Research has found that women with PCOS have higher rates of depression and anxiety.

Long duration of treatment   Fertility treatments can take a long time, and they are not 100% successful. It is understandable that couples can feel very drained while undergoing treatments. Financial stress can contribute to the stress as well.
Treatment side effects   Use of hormones in fertility medications can affect a person’s mood and can lead to depression.
Frequent thoughts of infertility  

For a lot of men and women, infertility may be the only thing that is on their mind. It seems like everything they do is hijacked by the fact that they are infertile. They wake up, go about their life routines and go to bed with the burden of infertility diagnosis.



The Severity of Infertility-Caused Depression

Several studies concluded that the emotional stresses women with infertility face are similar to that of cancer and cardiac patients. This shows that infertility can likely cause depression to a lot of people.

While depression can happen to infertile couples, it does not mean that they should just resign themselves to feeling this way. Depression should not be taken likely, and depressed infertile people should get the help that they need.

Depression due to infertility is also more common in women, but it can happen to men as well. Studies found that men experience less distress than women, but when they discover that they are the ones who are infertile, they can experience low self-esteem, stigma and depression as well.



Symptoms of Depression

A person may be diagnosed with depression when they have five or more of the following symptoms:

Depressed mood for most of the day on most days


Loss of interest in most activities, even in favorite ones
Weight loss or gain not due to deliberate dieting or a health condition  

Sleeping too much or too little

Feeling physically agitated or slow most days  

Fatigue, low energy on most days

Feeling worthless, guilty, or ashamed


Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating

Frequent thoughts of death or suicide



Getting Help

There are a lot of ways to seek help and support when it comes to mental health.
If you suspect that you are depressed, or struggling with mental health, know that there are a lot of experts who can help.

Fertility coaching is a great way to seek counseling, advice and support. A fertility coach can give you the right tips to manage your stress and cope with infertility. They can also act as a sounding board if you ever need to express how you feel.

With LUMIROUS, you can book a 15 mins complimentary fertility counselling session and discover the benefits of it! To learn more, please visit our website!


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