Can't conceive? Let go of baby wish for healthy brain

Women who cannot conceive even after fertility treatments are at a greater risk of developing mental problems, warns a study.

IANS| Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 17:21 PM IST

London: Women who cannot conceive even after fertility treatments are at a greater risk of developing mental problems, warns a study.

For the study, researchers analysed over 7,000 women to disentangle different factors that may affect women's mental health over a decade after unsuccessful fertility treatment.

The women were asked about age, marital status, education and menopausal status, whether the infertility was due to them, their partners, both or of unknown cause and what treatment they had received.

In addition, they completed a mental health questionnaire.

"Majority of women in the study had come to terms with the failure of their fertility treatment. However, six percent (419) still wanted children at the time of answering the study's questionnaire. This was connected with worse mental health," explained Dr. Sofia Gameiro, a lecturer at the school of psychology in Cardiff University.

Women who still wished to have children were up to 2.8 times more likely to develop clinically significant mental health problems than women who did not sustain such a desire.

Researchers also found that women who started fertility treatment at an older age had better mental health than women who started younger.

"Those who were married or co-habited with their partner reported better mental health than women who were single, divorced or widowed," Dr. Gameiro maintained.

Better educated women also had better mental health than the less well educated.

"It is always better to let go of the desire for children after failed fertility treatment," the researchers concluded.

The study appeared in the journal Human Reproduction.