Women who have difficulty conceiving a child have a higher risk of mental health problems if they cannot accept their infertility condition.
This was revealed through a new study conducted by a team of researchers from the U.K.’s Cardiff University School of Psychology. Dr. Sofia Gameiro, lead study author, said that while previous studies have been conducted to link infertility issues with mental health concerns (such as this one in 2012), their study looked into additional factors that might worsen or relieve the effects.
One of the factors that the study identified was whether the women already has children or none. “The strength of this association varied according to whether women had children or not. For women with no children, those with a child-wish were 2.8 times more likely to have worse mental health than women without a child-wish… For women with children, those who sustained a child-wish were 1.5 times more likely to have worse mental health than those without a child-wish. This link between a sustained wish for children and worse mental health was irrespective of the women’s fertility diagnosis and treatment history,” Gameiro said in a news item.
In contrast, women experienced better mental conditions if the cause of infertility was either the partner male or another undetermined reason.
The study involved a survey on more than 7,000 females who underwent treatments to correct their fertility concerns from 1995 to 2000. The study proponents were quick to clarify that the link between fertility and mental health is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship.