Battling depression due to infertility? Here’s how to keep your mental health in check

After being diagnosed, women usually fall prey to depression due to infertility. Here’s how to keep your mental health in check.

depression due to infertility
Dealing with depression and being unable to enjoy motherhood is difficult. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Diana Divya Crasta Published on: 27 April 2022, 16:20 pm IST
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Infertility has not been given much attention in India because it is not a life-threatening condition. Infertility is a life crisis with invisible losses, and its consequences are manifold. Based on the census reports, researchers show that childlessness in India has risen by 50 percent since 1981. It is not because couples are choosing not to have children, but primarily due to growing infertility. However, infertility may also come with psychological ill effects. Cases of depression due to infertility are rising at an alarming speed too.

Infertility is not just related to women. Both male and female factors are equally responsible for infertility along with unexplained infertility. However, the women are quick to be blamed when they are unable to produce a baby. At the same time, talking about such a subject has been taboo for a long time and with the entire societal pressures, the stress and blame on a woman are always enormous. In pronatalist cultures such as India, the consequences of infertility for women can be devastating. Anxiety during the treatments or depression due to infertility are becoming common among Indian women.

Childlessness and infertility should no longer be private sorrows. As this is rising in urban population drastically, women and couples should be more open to sharing about this and not be additionally burdened with societal pressures, as the stress caused can have severe effects.

Importance of stress management when battling depression due to infertility

Pregnancy and motherhood is a natural process of mankind and women are made to continue the generations. But in this process, if women experience biological issues, along with societal, family, marital and peer pressure can cause stress and anxiety. Similarly, the stigma and discrimination around this add more anxiousness and stress during infertility treatments in women. Every woman has a different way of looking at these things and deals with depression due to infertility based on the psychological, family support they receive. Whenever the situation and emotions take over and affect day-to-day life, is when the women require psychological support to handle themselves.

eating disorders and infertility
Do not lose your heart and fall prey to depression due to infertility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Psychological impact of multiple IVF failures and how to handle that?

When women opt for IVF treatments and approach to treat their infertility, they come with the hope that they might have a chance for a positive pregnancy. But not all IVF treatments give a hundred percent success rate. Accepting and dealing with the negative results, impacts women more than being infertile. In such a situation, the woman will experience mixed emotions of helplessness, hopelessness, anger, guilt, frustration and would not understand what to do. The families can also be the ones to cause this due to multiple treatments and failures and blame the woman.

What should women do when dealing with depression due to infertility?

1. Talk to an expert

The expert can help women understand the status and recommend the best treatment based on the report and other factors. These discussions will reduce the stress related to treatment and its related procedures.

2. Take professional help

Mental health is a very important aspect, which has always not been considered as important compared to physical health. A professional psychologist can help you to calm your worries and make you feel better.

3. Create your support system

Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive and understand your situation can help you to deal with it. It can be family, friends, relatives, colleagues or other women experiencing infertility.

4. Follow a hobby

Doing anything that you like or gives you happiness should help you to occupy yourselves when feeling loneliness.

cycling
Indulge in any activity that excites you. It will help ease out symptoms of depression due to infertility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Spend quality time with spouse

Spending quality time by engaging in activities which both of you like can be a very good stress buster. Avoiding child talks/fertility related talks are very important.

6. Social media

Social media is the biggest influencer in the current period. Looking for details in social media throughout the day is one of the major reasons which can create more stress, anxiety. Avoiding such things is very important. Rather than, being part of support groups can make you feel better.

validation
Be content in your life rather than trying to fetch validations all the time through social media. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Don’t compare

Everyone is unique. The more we understand this, there will be more acceptance of self. As the proverb says, “the grass is always greener on the other side” we always tend to feel that other people always seem to be in a better situation than you although they may not be.

How can counselors help in easing out depression due to infertility?

Counselors address the most important concerns and problems that women are going through which may be related to one’s personal life, treatments, donor gametes, injections or even results of fertility treatments. Counselors are there to help one professionally and to handle the stress and anxiety factor.

 

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About the Author
Diana Divya Crasta Diana Divya Crasta

Chief Psychological Counselor, Nova IVF Fertility

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