Infertility may lead to mental disorders

It’s no secret that fertility problems can be stressful and taxing for women who want to have children.

Infertility can damage relationships and plot couples on a life-consuming course of fertility treatments.

A new study shows that infertility may even increase a woman’s risk for mental disorders.

The authors defined mental disorders as: alcohol and intoxicant abuse; schizophrenia and psychoses; affective disorders including depression; anxiety, adjustment and obsessive compulsive disorder; eating disorders; and other mental disorders.

In the Danish study of nearly 100,000 women, women who remained childless after an initial appointment with a fertility specialist were 18% more likely to be hospitalized for all mental disorders than the women who eventually had a baby.

Infertility also increased the risk for alcohol/substance abuse by 103%, schizophrenia by 47% and other mental disorders by 43%.

These data provide important information for counselors assisting women struggling with infertility and may help physicians provide better care for their female patients.