The whirlwind of innumerable emotions that comes with infertility can be overwhelming. These myriad feelings can manifest into various physiological, emotional or physical conditions in both the partners.
As warned by a recent study published in the journal on Human Reproduction, women who cannot conceive even after fertility treatments are at a greater risk of developing mental problems.
Study Details and Findings
For the study, researchers analyzed over 7,000 women over a decade to disentangle different factors that may affect women’s mental health after unsuccessful fertility treatments.
The women were asked about age, marital status, education, menopausal status, their partners, whether the infertility was due to them both or of unknown cause and what treatment they had received. In addition, they completed a mental health questionnaire.
“Majority of women in the study had come to terms with the failure of their fertility treatment. However, six percent (419) still wanted children at the time of answering the study’s questionnaire. This was connected with worse mental health,” explained Dr. Sofia Gameiro, a lecturer at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University.
Women who still wished to have children were up to 2.8 times more likely to develop clinically significant mental health problems than women who did not sustain such a desire. Researchers also found that women who started fertility treatment at an older age had better mental health than women who started younger.
“Those who were married or cohabited with their partner reported better mental health than women who were single, divorced or widowed,” Dr. Gameiro maintained. Better educated women also had better mental health than the less well educated.
“It is always better to let go of the desire for children after failed fertility treatment,” the researchers concluded.