DEPRESSION DURING IN VITRO FERTILIZATION – A MYTH OR A FACT?
Stress in our daily lives is inevitable. Within certain limits, however, it helps the body adapt to different conditions. Going over our limits might bring along some health issues. These may affect the body (high blood pressure, fatigue, hair loss) or your mental health (depression, anxiety).
In vitro fertilization gives hope to millions of couples. Although beneficial, it may also appear to be a source of excessive stress that may lead to depression.
There are several theories why patients develop depression during an in vitro cycle.
On one hand, a hormonal treatment used for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COHS) can affect your mood. Every drug has side effects but, fortunately, those here are rare. However, if something worries you, we recommend discussing it with your obstetrician-gynecologist.
Emotions, multiple procedures, waiting and expectations are the more likely cause of depression. Concerns about financing the procedure also have a negative impact on the psyche. Women who have suffered from depression in the past have a greater chance of developing depression during their IVF cycle.
SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
Depression has dozens of symptoms, and in each person, they manifest differently. These include fatigue, sadness, sleeping problems, concentration issues, lack of desire for going out or working. Some people resort to alcohol and food. Sense of guilt (“It’s my fault I can’t get pregnant”) is also common.
Do not forget that even if you have experienced some of the above-mentioned symptoms, it does not mean that you are suffering from depression.
If you are going to have IVF or another form of assisted reproduction, the following tips can help you deal with emotional stress:
- Learn about your upcoming procedures. Your obstetrician-gynecologist will explain in detail what exactly is going to happen to you. You can learn from online articles and videos as well.
- Consider who you would like to tell about your in vitro procedure. Some patients decide not to share the news with too many friends and relatives so they will not be overwhelmed with questions.
- Be ready for changes to the original plan. For example, it might turn out that you have a greater chance to conceive by using donor eggs.
- Think realistically. So far no one can guarantee that you will get pregnant from the first attempt. Do not rule out the possibility that you might need multiple cycles.
- Do not be ashamed to seek professional help. New Life clinic has a psychologist who will be available at the most difficult times for you and your partner.