Failed Fertility Treatments Linked To Poor Long-Term Mental Health In Women

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According to a new study published in Human Reproduction, women who have difficulty accepting a failed fertility treatment have worse long-term mental health than those who are able to let go of their hopes to reproduce.

Dr. Sofia Gameiro of the Cardiff University School of Psychology said that the study is the first to assess a large group of women and the mental health effects that occur over a decade after unsuccessful fertility treatments.

"It was already known that people who have infertility treatment and remain childless have worse mental health than those who do manage to conceive with treatment," Dr. Gameiro said.

However, previous research does not consider the components that contribute to a decline in mental health. In this particular study, researchers included other circumstances like whether or not a person already had children, whether or not they still want children and what their diagnosis and medical treatment included.

The study focused on a questionnaire that analyzed answers from 7,000 women who initiated fertility treatments between 1995 and 2000. The women were again questioned between January 2011 and 2012. The questions asked about age, marriage status, education, menopausal status, their success or disappointment with fertility treatments and a mental health component.

Though researchers found that a majority of the women had accepted their failure with fertility treatments, some six percent of them still wanted children. Women who still wanted children were 2.8 times more likely to have mental health problems than those who had accepted their lot.

"It is quite striking to see that women who do have children but still wish for more children report poorer mental health than those who have no children but have come to accept it," Dr. Gameiro said.

The study also found that when infertility was due to male factors, women tended to have better mental health.

Source: Medical News Today


 
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