The Connection Between Depression and IVF

Undergoing invitro fertilization is by no means a stress-free solution to infertility. Some medical studies say that typically 20 to 30 percent of women who undergo IVF suffer from significant symptoms of depression.

Hormonal treatments are often the cause. Not every woman undergoing IVF hormone therapy will suffer from depression, but those who are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety or have previously had depression have a higher chance of suffering from depression. The hormonal treatments can act as a trigger.

Long-term IVF vs. Short-term IVF

Long-term IVF protocol involves hormone injections for a two-week period that blocks ovulation. This causes a sudden reduction in progesterone and estrogen levels. These levels are brought up again after the two-week period through artificial hormones to stimulate ovulation for egg harvesting and implantation. Some doctors believe that the sudden drop and surge in hormone levels makes susceptible women more likely to suffer from depression. Short-term IVF protocol doesn't involve the two-week period of ovulation blockage.

Other doctors argue there is no difference between the depression and anxiety rates of women who undergo long-term or short-term IVF protocol. The levels and rate of depression are the same according to a study of 108 random women at the Sourasky Medical Center for IVF in Tel Aviv done by Dr. Miki Bloch of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

If you're in the process of considering IVF, it's important for you and your doctor to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of each method to determine which protocol will work better for you.

Dealing with IVF Treatment and Emotional Side Affects

Doctors should closely monitor a patient for any depression symptoms during IVF treatment. Ask your doctor about what options are available to help you deal with mild or more severe symptoms of depression associated with your treatments.

Speaking with others can be strong therapy and most fertility clinics will offer counseling services and support groups. Be sure to let your practitioner know how you're feeling and if you're feeling overwhelmed. This can help deal with any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. It's a good idea to try to reduce or eliminate other sources of stress in your life to help reduce the chance of feeling depressed during and after invitro fertilization treatments.

Another option to treat potential depression associated with IVF is to administer estrogen after the embryo has been implanted. The purpose of this is to keep estradiol levels high which can help with the mood swings. Talk to your doctor about this option.

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