For many women, having children is a major goal in life. So it’s understandable that the inability to have children can be difficult for some women to cope with.
National Infertility Awareness Week, which runs from April 22 to 28, is all about increasing awareness of infertility and issues related to infertility.
Mental health issues can be linked to infertility, and experts share their information on this important connection.
According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association website’s article by Alice Domar, “stress does not cause infertility,” but “infertility most definitely causes stress.” Women who are infertile are also more likely to suffer from depression due to their issues with conceiving.
Another part of the website does suggest that “emotional factors” are risk factors. The article states that “depression and stress may have a direct effect on the hormones that regulate reproduction and affect sperm production or ovulation.”
The Association’s website also explains that there can be many different feelings of loss associated with infertility, which is perfectly normal. A decrease in self-esteem can be a result of infertility, but it doesn’t have to be a new way of life.
The Association does have resources to help couples who are struggling with infertility. There are also different options that couples can try to possibly overcome infertility.
Other emotions associated with infertility for those who are trying to conceive are denial, shock, numbness, anger, guilt and shame, according to the Association’s website. The website also suggests that couples might suffer from feelings of grief, like “lack of energy,” “headaches,” irritability,” “insomnia,” “extreme sadness” and “inability to concentrate.”
Judith Horowitz, a licensed psychologist, said in an email that she thinks infertility does have a negative impact on mental health.