Have a male partner who’s depressed? Your chances of getting pregnant just plummeted by 60%.
According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, a man’s depression is more predictive of infertility than any other factor. More specifically, when a man is depressed, his partner and himself have a 60% less chance of getting pregnant.
This study, which was published in the Fertility and Sterility journal in May 2018, examined the intersection between infertility and depression, and looked at how various treatments for depression influenced fertility as well.
The authors of the study noted that 41% of women and 50% of men who seek fertility treatments have symptoms of depression. That being said, they also found that whether a woman undergoing infertility treatment was depressed did not significantly affect the chances of her getting pregnant.
That’s not all. While it’s now common for men to use hormone therapies and drugs to counter conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, the study shows that depression essentially nullifies the effects of these drugs. Because men who are depressed have lower concentrations of sperm in their semen, this balances out the “edge” that hormone therapies and drugs may offer.
Last but not least, women who consume a certain class of antidepressants while pregnant also face a higher chance of experiencing a miscarriage. Those who take the standard Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Lexapro and Paxil are fine. It’s the ladies who are taking “atypical” drugs such as MAOIs, Norpramine and Wellbutrin that have to watch out – consuming these drugs mean you’re 3.5 times as likely to experience a first trimester pregnancy loss, as opposed to those not using antidepressants.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. In Singapore, one in fifteen people are likely to develop a Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression at least once in their lifetime, which puts depression among the top three mental health disorders.
Depression is characterized by symptoms such as the loss of interest in activities, significant weight fluctuations, poor sleep or excessive sleeping, agitation, irritability, restlessness and lethargy, poor concentration and forgetfulness, and having suicidal thoughts. It may be brought on by life events and social circumstances, and some people may be more vulnerable than others due to genetic make-up and psychological factors.
Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka
If you and your partner would like to learn more about getting pregnant, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!