Trying to conceive is an exciting and happy period in a couple’s life. If the woman has a history of depression, however, you may be riddled with worry and concern about how your mental illness may impact your ability to get pregnant, your subsequent pregnancy, and the transition to motherhood. A mom of three young girls, with a history of depression myself, I know the worries all too well. Here’s a brief overview to help you understand how depression may hinder your fertility, pregnancy, and the postpartum period.
Trying to Conceive with Depression
If you are trying to conceive, depression may indeed impact your fertility. First of all, depression (or your depression medication) may have an impact on your sex drive, and you won’t be able to conceive without sex. In addition, Baby Hopes notes that stress and depression can impact your menstrual cycle and ovulation, also impacting your fertility.
While you are trying to conceive, you’ll want the best treatment plan available, which may include both counseling and/or medication. Be sure to discuss your fertility and trying to conceive with your doctor, as you may need to alter your depression medication.
Pregnancy with Depression
I’m living proof that you can survive a pregnancy while suffering from depression (I even managed it without medication!). However, the normal ups and downs of pregnancy are often exacerbated by a history of depression, and you’ll want to monitor your depression by yourself, with your spouse, and under the guidance of your healthcare providers.
While pregnant, take care to get some exercise and to eat right, get sunlight on a regular basis (with SPF of course!), get plenty of rest, drink enough water, and make time for activities you enjoy. This may be able to help minimize some of the problems associated with depression in pregnancy. When natural treatments are not working and your depression is impacting your pregnancy and you dramatically, the lowest dose antidepressant possible is best.
Postpartum Care with a History of Depression
If you have a history of depression, the postpartum period is crucial. Continue to monitor your mental state, as you’ll be experiencing hormonal changes during this time that could cause baby blues or postpartum depression. In addition, if you’ll want to discuss any changes to your medicine with your doctor or midwife, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Depression can impact not only your fertility, but it may play a role in your pregnancy and your life postpartum. Working with your mental health and regular healthcare providers to minimize your illness can improve your odds of achieving pregnancy, the quality of that pregnancy, and make for a successful transition to motherhood.
Baby Hopes; Can depression play a role in my fertility; http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/depression-fertility.html