IVF blues

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Depression is common for women going through IVF. Yes, most certainly the very condition of infertility contributes to it, as do the hormone injections. But, new research from Tel Aviv suggests that other factors may be even more influential.

Dr. Miki Bloch of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sourasky Medial Center in Tel Aviv, stress, pre-existing depression, and anxiety are far more likely to cause the blues than hormones therapy when utilizing IVF. It’s not surprising the anxiety and depression may affect pregnancy outcomes, so there is hope that this study will encourage doctors and patients to treat any pre-existing depression prior to the fertility treatment.

Dr. Bloch’s study appears in Fertility and Sterility. The data outlines the relationship of various hormone levels and depression during IVF. Some gynecologists believe that depression is lessened in short-term IVF protocol versus the long-term protocol. In the long term protocol there is an introductory two week period of hormone repression which is skipped in the short-term method. But Dr. Bloch’s study shows this isn’t true. Depression and anxiety are exactly the same for long- and short-term.

His research showed increasing depression throughout the course of the protocol whether short or long. It is in fact, the drop in estrogen that occurs after the ovum is implanted that triggers the worst of the depression.

Compared to women who experience spontaneous pregnancy, the IVF patients often experience the onset of depression as they are making the decision to go through IVF. As treatment advances, depression increases. And combined with the hormones, it can be quite debilitating. Women who have battled depression prior to pregnancy are particularly susceptible.

For women considering IVF, it is important to start self evaluating prior to the procedure and to get help preemptively. Dr. Bloch’s study suggests that selecting one method over the other will not help. Only intervention and awareness.

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University, ScienceDaily


 
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