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How Infertility Affects Your Mental Health
by Lara DeSanto, Health Writer
If your fertility journey is weighing you down, know that you are not alone. Here are ways to get the support you need.
IT’S HARD TO describe the often-silent pain and sadness that can hang over you when you want to have a baby, but you are struggling with infertility. And with the stress of doctor appointments, treatments and side effects, and all of the uncertainty involved, it’s no wonder infertility can have a tangible impact on your mental health. Here, we’ll explore the different ways infertility can affect you emotionally—plus, we’ll hear from the experts about different strategies to get support and ease the burden during this tough time.
Mental Health Struggles Are Common With Infertility
Infertility, which is defined as not being able to get pregnant after at least a year of unprotected sex, affects one in five women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And there’s plenty of research documenting the fact that infertility is linked to mental health struggles. For example, one large study of 352 women and 274 men with infertility found that 56% of women and 32% of men had significant depression symptoms and 76% of women and 61% of men had significant anxiety symptoms. That said, experiences can vary widely.