I believe Western Medicine is ignoring the emotional state of many couples undergoing treatment for infertility. Read my other article on depression in men.
Western medicine is only starting to understand the physical effects on men undergoing the emotional struggle with infertility. The Mayo Clinic has found headaches, heart disease, digestive problems, fatigue, irritability and low libido are often related to depression in men. We are only starting to understand the effects of depression on sperm quality.
For many reasons – down playing symptoms, reluctance to discuss issues and failure to understand depression in men – men are often under diagnosed for depression.
What’s the issue with infertility and depression in men? In this brief research article, men with major depression were found to lower pregnancy rates.
The article doesn’t mention how depression is interfering with conception.
In my experience a deep cross over of hormone imbalances and depression exits. Which came first? We will never know.
As a simple example: low testosterone in men can cause depression, fatigue, irritability, poor libido and sperm count. Studies discovered men with depression will generally have lowed testosterone. Western medicine doesn’t fully understand the connection between depression and hormones, but it is acknowledged that there is a profound effect linking the two.
What’s the take away message? Emotional health is important when a couple is faced with conception issues. Depression can impact a man’s ability to be fertile, his emotional heath is important and he should seek support.
Ladies, as we know men are good at concealing their emotions but you probably have a good sense of who he is. If you feel something is off with him, try to talk with him and see if he willing to get assistance.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent in balancing hormones and improving sperm quality.
Major depression, antidepressant use, and male and female fertility
Emily A. Evans-Hoeker – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Tech Carilion, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Virginia, et all.
To determine if maternal major depression (MD), antidepressant use, or paternal MD are associated with pregnancy outcomes after non-IVF fertility treatments.
Participants in two randomized trials: PPCOS II (clomiphene citrate versus letrozole for polycystic ovary syndrome), and AMIGOS (gonadotropins versus clomiphene citrate versus letrozole for unexplained infertility).
Female and male partners completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Female medication use was collected. PHQ-9 score ≥10 was used to define currently active MD.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Primary outcome: live birth. Secondary outcomes: pregnancy, first-trimester miscarriage. Poisson regression models were used to determine relative risks after adjusting for age, race, income, months trying to conceive, smoking, and study (PPCOS II versus AMIGOS).
Data for 1,650 women and 1,608 men were included. Among women not using an antidepressant, the presence of currently active MD was not associated with poorer fertility outcomes (live birth, miscarriage), but rather was associated with a slightly increased likelihood of pregnancy. Maternal antidepressant use (n = 90) was associated with increased risk of miscarriage, and male partners with currently active MD were less likely to achieve conception.
Currently active MD in the female partner does not negatively affect non-IVF treatment outcomes; however, currently active MD in the male partner may lower the likelihood of pregnancy. Maternal antidepressant use is associated with first-trimester pregnancy loss, which may depend upon the type of antidepressant.