There is a potential link between the symptoms of depression and infertility. A hormonal imbalance may be to blame for women’s fertility struggles. However there are steps that impacted women can employ to overcome this malady and to improve their chances of successful conception.
Hormones Impacting Fertility
Arguably, the two most significant hormones related to female fertility are estrogen and thyroid hormone. Estrogen is the primary female reproductive hormone and is responsible for the growth and function of the reproductive tract organs such as the ovaries. The thyroid gland is one of the main hormone-producing organs in the body and is responsible for many vital functions such as metabolism. If systemic concentrations of either hormone are diminished, stricken women could experience difficulties conceiving.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal deficiencies may be precipitated by a host of conditions and health issues. In numerous instances, a decline in estrogen production and secretion is the result of a life event known as menopause. Menopause is a natural stage that occurs in women in their late forties or early fifties and is categorized by the decrease and eventual cessation of production of reproductive and sexual hormones. Once this process is completed, women will no longer experience menstrual cycles and cannot bear children any further.
Other conditions can precipitate hormonal imbalances. They might be brought forth by lifestyle choices including diet and engaging in potentially harmful vices. However, under other circumstances, systemic hormonal fluctuations are the result of serious diseases like cancer and autoimmune malfunctions.
Symptoms of Hormonal Issues
Oftentimes, specific symptoms will occur in relation to the specific underlying cause of the hormonal deficiency. That said, many hormonal problems will cause certain common symptoms including sweating, skin flushing, insomnia, weight fluctuations, headaches, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, and decreased libido.
The Connection Between Infertility and Mental Health Concerns
Some women might not realize that depression and other manifestations related to mental health that occur in conjunction with fertility problems might indicate a hormonal deficiency. Women attempting to conceive might be experiencing numerous other life challenges (family, professional or financial) and dismiss feeling down, depressed or being afflicted with anxiety as normal, everyday stress.
Mental health professionals suggest that feeling downcast is acceptable for short durations. However, women who experience significant degrees of sadness that ultimately impacts their enjoyment of life or the ability to perform routine tasks over any period of time should take these feelings seriously and seek professional help. Not only could these emotions signal full-blown depression in need of aggressive treatment, but they might indicate the presence of an underlying hormonal imbalance.
Treatment Options Afflicted Women Can Employ
Women experiencing depression or related mental health symptoms are urged to seek treatment as soon as possible. Research conducted has concluded that depressive episodes can decrease a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Specific therapeutic protocols might include remedying an underlying medical condition if one exists. That said, other treatment options such as therapy, counseling, the consumption of a healthy diet rife with fertility-boosting nutrients, partaking in physical activity, eliminating potentially dangerous vices like drinking alcohol and cigarette smoking, regulating or altering dosages of hormonal balance-altering medications, practicing relaxation techniques and curtailing or eliminating all sources of unnecessary stress have proven effective.