05 Oct European Depression Day How does depression affect getting pregnant?
Every first Thursday of October is celebrated throughout Europe as European Depression Day, a day proposed by the European Depression Association, EDA, in 2004, to raise awareness of the importance and effects of this disease. Taking advantage of the celebration of this day, at Reproclinic we would like to address a very relevant issue in our sector: the effect of depression on achieving pregnancy. A problem that, unfortunately, affects a percentage of women of reproductive age.
According to the WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Data from recent years confirm that approximately two million Spaniards suffer from this mental disorder. Moreover, almost half of these people did not know that they suffered from this problem. In Europe, the total number of patients with chronic depression is around 30 million.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes symptoms such as anxiety, apathy or sadness, affecting the sufferer’s mood, thinking, attitude and daily activities.
The severity, impact and duration of depression can vary from person to person and from disorder to disorder. These feelings can last from weeks to months or even years. However, it is important not to confuse this disorder with normal variations in a person’s mood or worries or feelings of sadness in difficult situations.
Symptoms such as loss of energy, loss of interest, guilt, pessimism, anxiety, sadness, weight loss or gain, irritability, despondency, or aches and pains in the body may be some of those suffered by a person with depression. And like any mental illness, depression needs a lot of professional care.
Depression and infertility
Like any psychological factor, depression can affect or influence the pregnancy process and, therefore, infertility. In this state, it is difficult to cope with the physical and emotional changes that pregnancy entails. The body is wise and does not allow pregnancy to take place.
50% of infertile women suffer from psychological problems, the most common of which are depression and anxiety. This disorder is undoubtedly one of the greatest enemies of fertility. Patients with reproductive problems can suffer depression rates equal to those of a person suffering from chronic pain, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
There is another scenario, however, when a couple is planning to have a child, but time passes and they are unable to achieve their dream. It is at this point that feelings of frustration, stress, anguish and depression set in, which are even more detrimental to fertility.
But what are the causes of this depression?
- The uncertainty of whether or not there will be pregnancy at some point, after a few failed pregnancies and negative tests.
- The fear of not finding a solution that will help them to fulfil their dream of starting a family.
- The frustration of having to go through this situation and not finding an answer to the repeated question asked by patients: why me?
Our role in cases of depression in the assisted reproduction process
The intervention of a psychologist in those cases in which couples or women, during an assisted reproduction process, are affected by stress and depression, is very necessary! The support of these professionals is, without a doubt, a great guide and accompaniment.
At Reproclinic we offer our patients emotional support group sessions, led by our specialists Ariadna Bonals and Stéphanie Toulemonde, where patients can share their situation, feelings and fears.
For national users, these sessions will be held at our clinic, physically, on these dates:
- Wednesday 29 September
- Wednesday 27 October
- Wednesday 1 December
- Wednesday 22 December
Ariadna Bonals, a psychologist from our clinic, will help patients to better manage this process on an emotional level, will teach them how to continue taking care of their partner and their sexuality, and will provide the necessary information about the process of eggdonation, if necessary.
For foreign users, these sessions will be held online on the following days:
- Tuesday 21 September
- Tuesday 19 October
- Tuesday 23 November
- Tuesday 14 December
Stéphanie Toulemonde will be the specialist in charge of these sessions, a professional coach, specialised in fertility, who will provide all the necessary advice to be able to live the process better, and eliminate anxiety and depression.
Put yourself in the hands of the best assisted reproduction professionals and you will have the help you need to combat depression and, consequently, the infertility that prevents you from achieving your dream.