Midwest Reproductive Center

Infertility and Depression: Breaking the Cycle

Is It More than Just the “Baby Blues?”

If you are battling infertility, you may feel sad, angry, helpless and overwrought all at once. Feelings of depression may stem understandably from your circumstances, or they may indicate the presence of a chemical imbalance that requires medical attention. In some cases, depression can actually make conception more challenging.

The Office on Women’s Health notes that while researchers haven’t isolated an ironclad link between mental health and fertility, depression and anxiety could alter hormone levels in ways that impact reproductive wellness.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of appetite (or overeating)
  • Self-destructive habits such as smoking, drinking or drug abuse

Dr. Dan Gehlbach with Midwest Reproductive Center reminds you that all of these symptoms of depression can conspire to damage your health and impair both male and female fertility. It can become a vicious cycle as infertility creates or worsens depression, which in turn encourages behaviors that only erode your health and increase the challenges to your fertility.

What You Can Do about Depression

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to overcome depression and “fertility sadness.” These include:

Self care – Psychology Today recommends addressing your wellness practices as a smart first step. Get a full night’s sleep, and eat a balanced diet that offers the full array of vitamins and minerals — including omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to stabilize your moods. Exercise regularly to keep the endorphins and other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters flowing.

Talking about it – Seek out sympathetic friends, relatives, and local/online communities of other individuals facing similar challenges.

Professional evaluation – If negative emotions continue to dog you, seek a professional evaluation for possible clinical depression. Today’s medications can work wonders to restore chemical balances and help people pursue their fertility goals with newfound enthusiasm.

Of course, you also have friends right here at Midwest Reproductive Center. Contact us with your concerns — we’re happy to listen, and even happier to help!


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