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Studies reveal that Depression might lower the chances of motherhood

Depression has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which may influence the menstrual cycle and affect the ability to conceive.

There is 38 percent decrease in the average probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle among women who reported severe depressive symptoms compared to the women who had no or low symptoms, finds out a recent study. It also revealed that the results were similar, regardless of whether the women were on psychotropic medications.

Despite associations in prior studies between infertility and the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilisers among already infertile women, “current use of psychotropic medications did not appear to harm the probability of conception,” said lead author Yael Nillni, an assistant professor at Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine in the US.

“Our findings suggest that moderate to severe depressive symptoms, regardless of current psychotropic medication treatment, may delay conception,” Nillni said. The findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Although the study does not answer why women with more depressive symptoms may take longer to become pregnant, the authors noted several potential mechanisms.

Depression has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which might influence the menstrual cycle and affect the ability to conceive.

Study collected data from around 2,100 female pregnancy planners, ages 21-45 years, enrolled in a study known as PRESTO (Pregnancy Study Online) is looking at the factors influencing fertility.

All women who participated were asked to report their current depressive symptoms and psychotropic medication use, among many other factors.(IANS)

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