Motherhood is one of the God’s greatest gifts to a woman. The feelings that a woman harbors when she knows that she is carrying a life inside her is incomparable to other emotions. On the International Women’s Day, it becomes imperative to discuss about the fog of depression that envelopes some women, making them feel miserable and worthless. The cage of hopelessness that she feels trapped in may also be linked with decreased chances of pregnancy and live birth following in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden conducted a study aimed at examining and analyzing the links between depression, anxiety and treatment with or without antidepressants prior to IVF and IVF cycle outcomes including pregnancy, birth and miscarriage. The study, titled “Depression, anxiety, and antidepressant treatment in women: association with in vitro fertilization outcome,” was published online in February 2016 in the journal Fertility & Sterility.
The study and its findings
For the purpose of research, scientists studied more than 23,000 nulliparous women – those who have never been able to carry their cycle of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks – going through their first IVF cycle recorded from January 2007 to December 2012 in the Swedish Quality Register of Assisted Production. Researchers examined the link between depression, anxiety and antidepressants with the outcome of the IVF procedures performed on them. The same was associated with statistics found after examination on depression, anxiety and antidepressant dispensations from the Swedish Patient and Prescribed Drug Registers collected and collated all over the country.
The researchers found that out of all the respondents, 4.4 percent had been detected with depression or anxiety in the period two years prior to the commencement of their IVF cycle and had been using antidepressants in the six months before the cycle started. Rates of pregnancy, live birth and miscarriage in these women were compared with those who were neither identified as aggrieved with depressive behavior or had been dispensed with antidepressants.
Though not much is known about fertility levels and conceiving abilities get affected by use of antidepressants, study author Carolyn Cesta, doctoral student at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, said, “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.”
“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.
No difference was found in pregnancy or live birth rates after the IVF treatment among the participants who were still using SSRIs, according to the findings of the study. Lesser or diminished chances of pregnancy and live birth along with an aggravated likelihood of miscarriage was associated with the small group of women aggrieved with grave bouts of depression and anxiety and still being treated with antidepressants other than SSRIs.
Lead investigator Anastasia Nyman Iliadou, associate professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, said, “Taken together, these results indicate that the depression and anxiety diagnoses may be the underlying factor leading to lower pregnancy and live birth rates in these women.”
The significance of the study lies in the fact that it can help clinicians to understand cases of infertility in women and the possible results of fertility treatment for women afflicted with unrelenting spells of low mood along with a host of associated cognitive and behavioral symptoms. As the findings of the study cannot be looked as the result of a random trial, the inference drawn from the data revealed could also be attributed to unmeasured lifestyle and/or genetic factors linked with depressive behavior or constant worry.
Road to recovery
Sovereign Mental Health Services prides itself on following cutting-edge research and taking innovative steps to help patients recover from various mental illness and substance addictions. We realize the need to look after women as they are the bearers of tomorrow’s generation. The cycle of fertility, conception, pregnancy and childbirth is a unique gift bestowed only upon women, which can be severely affected for those suffering from incessant periods of gloom and anxiety.
For further information, please contact our representative via online chat or call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529. On this International Women’s Day, let us pledge to relieve our women from mental illnesses.