April 14, 2024

IVF and depression: a long discussion continues

There has been much debate about the impact of IVF on a mental health.

There has been much debate about the impact of IVF on a mental health. A recent article in the Guardian considers this question in a personal context.

In a letter to lifestyle columnist Annalisa Barbieri, an anonymous reader anxiously describes the situation of her daughter (in her “early 40s” and single) who is considering IVF treatment.

The reader’s daughter is a busy professional who has battled depression for some time. The reader asks Barbieri about the potential impact of her daughter’s decision, considering the various psychological factors at play.

In a direct reference to woman’s depression, Barbieri wonders whether her mental state is a motivating factor for considering IVF. Trivially, Barbieri remarks: “depending on the cause of the depression, having a baby could have an impact on your daughter’s mental health.” In rather non-committal response, Barbieri comments: “Some decisions have no right or wrong answer and take a lot of working out. This is one such”.

Barbieri’s response is in stark contrast to the strong opinions expressed by some fertility experts. In a recent blog post Rachel Gurevich, an author who has written multiple award-winning books on fertility, answers the question, ‘will pregnancy cure depression?’. Gurevich comments: “this isn’t always the case. In fact, those who have experienced infertility are more likely to feel depression during pregnancy and are at an increased risk for postpartum depression.” 

The continuing discussion about depression and IVF
Xavier Symons
Creative commons