How Does Infertility Affect a Woman’s Mental Health?

Dr. Shamim Patel

November 29, 2022

How Does Infertility Affect a Woman's Mental Health?

Having infertility affects a woman’s mental health in a variety of ways. These can include depression, low self-esteem, stress, and depression. It is essential to understand how the condition affects a woman’s mental health and what steps can be taken to deal with the problem. These steps can include psychotherapy, counseling, or stress reduction.


Among women, stress and infertility affect their mental health in many ways. Stress can cause anxiety and depression, negatively affecting a woman’s fertility. Stress also affects her physical, sexual, and spiritual health. The fear of failing as a mother may also contribute to anxiety.

While stress can be detrimental to a woman’s health, it isn’t necessary to have it to be a successful parent. Managing stress may improve a woman’s chances of conceiving a child.

Although the connection between stress and infertility isn’t precisely clear, some studies have shown that pressure decreases the chances of getting pregnant. In addition, stress can contribute to fertility-harming habits. Some studies have shown that stress-reducing interventions may increase pregnancy rates.


Several studies have found that depression and infertility affect a woman’s mental health. The relationship between depression and infertility is complex. Infertility affects all aspects of a person’s life. It can hurt a woman’s self-esteem and her relationships.

In addition to the emotional aspects of infertility, there are also physical challenges. Patients may be referred to an infertility specialist by their family doctor. During infertility treatment, stress and physical challenges may increase a woman’s risk of depression.

The most common mental health concerns of fertility patients are depression and anxiety. Depression can affect a woman’s reproductive function and ability to function daily.

Depression can be treated with psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy or psychoanalysis. In addition to treating depression, psychotherapy can improve coping strategies and decision-making during treatment.

Low self-esteem

Several studies have found that infertility negatively affects women’s mental health. Women with infertility tend to report feelings of stress and depression. Infertility-related stress is known to be associated with depression and anxiety. This study examined the associations between infertility-related stress, depression, and anxiety in infertile women. Infertility-related stress was used as a covariate in univariate and regression analyses.

Self-esteem was also added to the model. Self-esteem mediated the association between infertility-related stress and depression. Infertility-related stress was significantly associated with depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.

Infertile women were found to have lower self-efficacy scores than healthy women. Self-efficacy is defined as the belief in one’s ability to control behavior. It is essential for individual performance, sexual behavior, and health behavior.


During infertility, a woman can experience a range of negative emotions. A woman’s mental health needs a strong foundation during this difficult time. Fortunately, many mental health clinicians are trained to help with infertility.

Infertility treatments can increase the risk of anxiety and depression. Medication is an option, but it can have unpleasant side effects. Psychotherapy can also be an effective way to help women cope with infertility.

Cognitive behavioral group therapy can help decrease depression and anxiety. In addition, group therapy can help increase social support and connection.

Infertility patients often report negative emotions such as depression, anger, and anxiety. Studies have shown that women undergoing infertility treatments tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety.

Impact of fertility treatments on mental health

Whether or not fertility treatments affect the mental health of women with infertility is still not well understood. This is despite a growing body of research. Most of the studies have used cross-sectional data. However, some longitudinal studies have incorporated sociodemographic factors. These studies have found that patients who experience infertility are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation.

One study conducted in Australia found that women who are depressed are less likely to seek infertility treatment. Another survey by Herbert and colleagues found that depression is an essential barrier for women with fertility problems to seek medical advice.

One study found that women with secondary infertility reported higher levels of depression. Another study found that women who were partnered reported more psychological distress than those who were not.