You would expect that if depression was a problem for one member of a couple trying to conceive, it would be more of a problem for the woman. Not so.
Depression in the man may reduce the chances that a couple struggling with infertility will ultimately conceive, new research suggests. Depression among women was not linked to lower conception rates, the study authors said.
But there can be an adverse effect on some women. Those being treated for infertility who also took a type of antidepressant known as non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (non-SSRIs) were found to have more than triple the risk of first-trimester miscarriage, compared to women not using those medications. By contrast, the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs was not linked to any miscarriage risk.
The studies included about 3,200 men and women. None was using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures at the time. Just over 2 percent of the men and about 6 percent of the women had active major depression. “Our study provides infertility patients and their physicians with new information to consider when making treatment decisions,” said study author Dr. Esther Eisenberg. She made her comments in a news release from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which funded the study. While the study found a connection between depression and a couple’s chances of conception, it didn’t prove cause and effect.
These studies show that taking a history from the couple including lifestyle and general health issues is an important prerequisite before jumping into fertility treatment.
More information on some of those lifestyle issues can be found on our Lifestyle & Fertility page. At Reproductive Partners we start the process with a careful evaluation of an individual or both members of a couple before starting fertility treatment. You can arrange a consultation through this website.