A powerful risk factor for developing major depressive disorder (MDD) during male fertility treatment is something health suppliers are likely not even looking for, according to brand new research from San Francisco State University or college.
Fertility therapy patients and their partners are far more likely to experience MDD than the common population, the study found, and a key factor in predicting a patient’s risk is whether he or she has a previous diagnosis of major depression. But past background is something that fertility treatment suppliers may not routinely screen for, said Sarah Holley, an assistant teacher of psychology at SF Condition and lead author of the research.
“The things that are usually assessed, such as whether you are feeling lower or anxious when treatment starts, can be really useful information, yet our research shows that a previous history of MDD is actually a stronger sign of whether a fertility affected person will develop MDD during treatment, ” said Holley. “This suggests it will be useful to include an assessment of the history of MDD as part of a pre-treatment screener. ”
Testing for previous episodes of MDD, Holley added, would allow a supplier to refer those most in danger for major depression during therapy for further counseling or support so that they may receive whatever additional help they need during treatment.
Researchers and mental health therapy providers have known that MDD is a recurring disease and that chances are to occur during stressful life events such as fertility treatment. But this particular study is the first to catch the actual rate of MDD among fertility patients in the United States, as well as point to a patient’s history as the key indicator of recurrence. The research is going to be published in the May issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.
To be diagnosed with MDD, an individual must, for a two-week period, encounter a depressed mood or pervasive loss of interest or pleasure, plus four other symptom criteria such as disturbances in sleep or urge for food, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, indecision or suicidal ideation. MDD itself can lead to withdrawal, isolation from friends and family and lost work, and is a major risk factor for suicide.
“Qualifying for MDD is more serious than experiencing low mood or crying a lot, which are some of the things that go into the type of regular depression inventories given to patients, ” Holley said. “It’s a really devastating disorder, and actually one of the leading reasons behind disability in this country. ”
Researchers surveyed 174 women and 144 male partners who experienced unsuccessfully gone through fertility treatment and found that 39. 1 percent of the women and 15. 3 percent of the men met the criteria for MDD during the 18-month course of the study, compared to the U. S. annual prevalence rate for MDD of 8. 4 percent of women and five. 2 percent of men. The outcomes indicate that, even accounting for the 18-month time period of the study, male fertility treatment patients suffer from notably higher rates of MDD. In addition , Holley and her colleagues compared a patient’s past history of MDD along with other well-established risk factors — such as baseline levels of depression and stress and anxiety symptoms, as well as partner support — and found it was a more powerful predictor of whether patients and partners ultimately developed MDD throughout fertility treatment than these additionally screened-for indicators.
“People often describe fertility treatment as one of the most distressing things they’ve ever experienced, ” Holley said. “It’s a prolonged process filled with uncertainty, and frequently it is very expensive. It can be very physically demanding, especially for women. It can have a profound effect on a couple’s relationship. ”
Understanding risk intended for MDD during fertility treatment is essential for a number of reasons, she added. 1st, MDD can lead to a couple dropping from fertility treatment altogether. Second, in the event that treatment is ultimately successful, MDD during treatment could potentially spill more than into the prenatal or post-partum periods.
“Helping patients and partners either before the depression requires hold, or being able to identify this and treat it as soon as possible, has the potential to help them through the very demanding process of treatment and possibly beyond, ” she said.
Long term research will look at the experiences of same-sex couples during fertility therapy to assess rates of MDD and examine whether the risk aspects for MDD during fertility therapy vary for sexual minority sufferers and partners compared with their heterosexual counterparts.
“Prevalence and predictors of major depressive condition for fertility treatment patients and their partners” by Sarah L. Holley, Lauri A. Pasch, Helen E. Bleil, Steve Gregorich, Patricia Katz and Nancy Adler is going to be published in the May issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility .