When Infertility Leads to Depression


Dealing with the hurdles of infertility, the treatments, and the uncertainty is stressful. Therefore, it’s no surprise that women who suffer from infertility are more likely to experience depression than their fertile counterparts. 

If you suspect you may be suffering from depression, read on. Below, we asked our experts at Washington Center for Women’s and Children’s Wellness to explain the link between depression and fertility and what can be done to improve your quality of life. 

Sadness vs. depression

It’s perfectly normal to feel sad, stressed, or even angry when dealing with infertility. Reading a negative pregnancy test, going through another round of treatment, or simply being told nothing else can be done to help you are all legitimate reasons to feel down. 

Depression isn’t just sadness. It’s a sadness that lingers for months and interferes with your daily life. It can affect your sleeping and eating patterns, reduce your motivation, and cause feelings of hopelessness. 

Signs of severe depression include thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation. 

Possible causes of depression when dealing with infertility 

Psychological stress isn’t the only reason why women who are dealing with infertility are more likely to be depressed. Sometimes the medications used to treat infertility can trigger depressive episodes. 

About 41% of the women who took clomiphene, a drug used for increasing fertility, experienced depression.

Leuprolide acetate is another fertility treatment known to increase the risk for depression and mood swings in women. The longer you take these medications, the higher your chance of experiencing depressive episodes. 

Treating depression in women suffering from infertility 

Our experts specialize in women’s health. Depending on the cause of your depression, whether it’s a side effect from treatments or a consequence of psychological stress, we can provide a tailored approach to lifting your mood.

Treatments for depression include talk therapy, where you’re taught how to better manage your emotions and learn how to become more resilient in the face of everyday difficulties, and antidepressants. 

Antidepressants are a class of medications that upregulate certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as noradrenaline and serotonin. These neurotransmitters can boost your mood, regulate your appetite, and improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep. 

If you find yourself tearing up more often or feeling sad and hopeless regularly, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our specialists will help you uncover the cause of your emotional discomfort and provide you with all the support you need during difficult times. 

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