Infertility’s Impact on Women’s Mental Health
Infertility is a condition that refers to an inability to become pregnant or to take a baby to term after one year of trying. This is a heartbreaking reality for many women across the globe. In fact, it is estimated that in the United States alone, roughly 6 million women suffer from infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What Causes Infertility?
Infertility can be caused by a variety of health issues. The most common is Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder that negatively impacts ovulation.
Other disorders that cause infertility in women are:
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Uterus deformities or abnormalities
And finally, one of the primary reasons for infertility is a woman’s age. Nearly one-third of all women over the age of 35 experience fertility issues.
Infertility and a Woman’s Mental Health
Infertility is a very stressful issue to deal with and it can greatly impact a woman’s mental health. Research published by the North Carolina Medical Journal found that common mental health concerns of fertility patients are symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Patients frequently report that each month’s cycle becomes a tumultuous storm of emotions ranging from anger, sadness, fear, and guilt. And the more demanding and intrusive the fertility treatment protocols become, the greater the emotions felt.
Much focus is given to the physical aspects of not being able to conceive. But it is important for women to recognize that their mental health may be impacted and to get help.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety or depression because of infertility issues, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to discuss treatment options with you.