Mental Health and Infertility

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Infertility affects about 1 in 5 women (19 percent) who have not had a prior birth during their reproductive years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   It’s not just a woman’s problem; male factor infertility causes some 30 percent of infertility cases. Infertility itself is stressful for most people, and fertility treatment may increase the psychological distress and anxiety they feel.  Let’s look at how this may affect your employees and what can help them.

Fertility treatment is utilized by more and more people to attempt to have a baby.  More than 77,000 babies were born from assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the U.S. in 2019, the most recent year for which SART data is available.

Infertility, Fertility Treatment, and Stress

Both men and women may strongly desire to have a family and feel significant stress and anxiety when this proves to be difficult to achieve.  Infertility affects emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and spiritual aspects of a couple’s lives. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health concerns among fertility patients.  Research has found that they also experience stigma, sense of loss, and diminished self-esteem.  Seeing other people easily get pregnant and build families when they are struggling adds to the pain of infertility.

It may seem contradictory that the fertility treatment which is intended to help people become parents can actually increase stress, anxiety, and depression.  The expense of treatment, uncertainty of success, and the physical side-effects of fertility treatment put many people on an emotional roller coaster, from hope at the beginning of an IVF cycle to sadness and loss if the cycle is not successful.  Making difficult medical decisions with no clear outcome also can be intensely stressful.

Employees who are going through the stress and anxiety of infertility may find it hard to be focused and fully present at work.  Some may have difficulty scheduling treatment or determining what they can afford.  The good news is, WINFertility can help.

Helping Hands Throughout the Fertility Journey

WINFertility’s Nurse Care Managers are personal advocates for each patient, guiding them through the process every step of the way.  They help each patient find the most effective treatment and manage the process for better outcomes.

WINFertility’s Behavioral Health-trained Care Managers guide your employees through the emotional challenges of fertility treatment.  They are trained to provide emotional support and to help patients make choices which will lessen their stress and anxiety. The care managers provide one-on-one or couples counseling tailored to the patients’ specific needs.  The behavioral health program decreases patient termination of treatment and increases successful outcomes.

Both types of care managers help ease your employees’ stress, so they can be more productive and focused at work.  Their management also helps increase pregnancy rates, which translates into more satisfied, loyal employees.

Learn more about how WINFertility supports Reproductive Behavioral Health: https://www.winfertility.com/solutions/