Fertility Treatments Give Birth to Depression

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on August 24, 2015

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A new study from the University of Copenhagen found that “women who give birth after receiving fertility treatment are five times more likely to develop depression compared to women who don’t give birth.” While the study does not attempt to answer why these women experience depression, it raises important questions worth considering and adds to the many unintended consequences of the big business of fertility treatments.

Reproductive technologies are targeted toward helping couples achieve their desires and overcome biological limitations, but rarely considers the children that will be conceived via these methods. I wonder what this could mean for women that conceive via IVF or another form assisted reproductive technology and their relationship with the children after giving birth?

Here at the CBC, we often warn those considering assisted reproduction of the unintended consequences of these technologies, such as the high failure rates, the side effects of synthetic hormones, the safety of certain procedures, and a range of other issues. If depression is another risk factor, it’s important that these women are informed of this, as well.

These new findings—while still tentative—add to the ever-growing list of secrets behind infertility “medicine.” While we understand the deep desire for parenthood, there must be limitations and those seeking these treatments must be fully informed of the risks involved.

Image by Torsten Mangner via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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