According to a new study, anxiety and depression (although not necessarily antidepressants) can lower a woman’s success rates following IVF.
The study, published recently in the journal Fertility & Sterility, is the largest examining a link between anxiety and depression and IVF. The team studied over 23,000 Swedish women who have went through the IVF process since 2007. Only 4% of the women were diagnosed with anxiety or depression within two years before undergoing fertility treatments,
“We found that women undergoing their first IVF treatment who either had been diagnosed with depression or anxiety or had dispensed an antidepressant had lower rates of pregnancy and live birth rates compared to women who did not suffer from these conditions or take antidepressants before beginning their IVF treatment,” study first author Carolyn Cesta said in a news release.
“Importantly, we found that women with a depression or anxiety diagnosis without a prescription of antidepressants had an even lower chance of becoming pregnant or having a live birth,” she added.
However, the principal investigator of the study, Anastasia Nyman Iliadou, cautions that the results do not prove any cause/effect relationship, and can also be explained by “unmeasured lifestyle and/or genetic factors associated with depression and anxiety.”
While it is good to know information and understand the latest news and studies in this field, anxiety and depression is hardly something that one is able to “turn off.” It’s hard, if not impossible, to just decide not to be anxious or depressed anymore.
There are many professionals that assess and diagnose anxiety and depression, as well as things that can help reduce stress and fears during fertility treatments. For additional ways to help cope with infertility, visit Counselor Joanna Flemons’ article on coping. If you think you may have depression or anxiety, please talk to your doctor.