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How Infertility Affects Your Mental Health

How Infertility Affects Your Mental Health

Advancements in infertility treatments are helping many people grow their families. The increased interest in infertility is also heightening awareness of how trouble conceiving affects a person’s physical and emotional well-being.

At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, our providers take a holistic approach to care, managing all of the health needs of the patients we see. We provide primary care for general health, gynecological services to manage medical conditions like infertility, and mental health counseling to treat mental illness. 

We see the stress and guilt many women feel when struggling with infertility. In this month’s blog, we aim to raise awareness of how infertility affects mental health.

Overview of infertility

Many women experience infertility, which is defined as the inability to get pregnant or stay pregnant after a full year of trying, or six months in women 35 and older. Though women often feel like infertility is their fault, men have infertility problems, too. 

Most men with infertility have issues with their sperm. They either don’t produce enough sperm or the sperm is unhealthy and unable to reach the egg for fertilization. 

Gynecological conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis are common causes of infertility in women. Infertility is also more common in women 35 and older due to age-related changes in egg viability. 

How infertility affects mental health

Wanting children and struggling to conceive is emotionally taxing for parents-to-be. It causes feelings of despair, guilt, and shame that may lead to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

Women struggling with infertility and depression are less likely to seek treatment for infertility. When they do pursue infertility treatments, they may give up too soon because of the stress and strain it causes. Infertility treatments are costly, involve medications that affect mood, require multiple visits to the doctor, and place extra stress on relationships.

Additionally, depression and anxiety may affect conception and the success of infertility treatments. Recognizing and treating mental health conditions that occur with infertility may improve outcomes. 

Getting help

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that all infertility practices make mental health services accessible to the people undergoing assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments. Our mental health counselors specialize in women’s health and infertility. 

We provide individualized therapy to help you understand the source of your depression or anxiety and help you develop coping techniques that improve your emotional and physical state. 

Mental health matters when it comes to infertility, and getting help may improve your chances of pregnancy. 

If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, call us today at the office nearest you or use our online appointment request form to schedule a visit with our licensed mental health counselor.

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