Thoughts on Depression and Infertility

Depression and Infertility

By now you have probably seen this somber story in the news…..

Juan-Carlos Cruz of the Food Network has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder. It was a murder for hire plan that involved ending his wife’s life. When asked about why he had decided to put a plan like this into motion, he stated that she suffered from infertility and he was only trying to put her out of her misery. 

Well….. I don’t know if I buy that one completely.
However, what does strike a chord with me about this story is the heart heaviness and depression that often accompanies infertility. When studies look at the chemical and hormone release levels associated with stressful events, both cancer and infertility ranked together. That is amazing when you think about it.
Those of us who have struggled with infertility though are probably not all that surprised with the findings.  The desire to have a baby is such gut wrenching feeling that is hard to even to express with words. It is an all consuming emotional experience that makes it hard to breathe at times. 
Studies done by Alice D. Dormar of the Dormar Center for Mind/Body Health, showed that it is very common to be depressed during and after fertility treatments. Specifically, she found that 34 percent of women who were in the midst of IVF treatments reported suffering from depression. As you would suspect, these numbers then increased after a failed IVF attempt. In fact, the depression rates shot up to 68%. The other statistic to make note of here was that of the 68% of the women who reported experiencing depression associated with their infertility, only 21% were receiving treatment.
This is an important part to the puzzle because there are some recent studies that connect depression to infertility. At a bare minimum, we know that depression changes the chemical release in the brain which in turn wreak havoc with a woman’s cycle. Because of this it is so important to take care of yourself emotionally before, during and after your TTC journey!
These studies always leave me wondering though….
Does infertility cause depression…….or is it the other way around? 
What are your thoughts??


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.