Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Have you been trying to conceive? Then you need to be cheerful!

If you have been trying to conceive and it is yet to happen, you may want to continue reading this post.

This study shows that you would need to be a happy person and let go of whatever it is that might be getting you depressed.

Women with severe depressive symptoms have a decreased chance of becoming pregnant, while the use of mood-altering medications does not appear to harm fertility, a study by researchers from the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine shows.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found a 38 percent decrease in the average probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle among women who reported severe depressive symptoms, compared to those with no or low symptoms. The results were similar, regardless of whether the women were on psychotropic medications.

Although the study does not answer why women with more depressive symptoms may take longer to become pregnant, the authors noted that depression has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which may influence the menstrual cycle and affect the ability to conceive, for example.

Among the study's secondary findings was that current use of benzodiazepines - sedatives used to treat anxiety and other disorders - was associated with a decrease in being able to bear children.

Also, women who were formerly treated with a class of antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) had improved chances of conception, regardless of depressive symptom severity.

The authors speculated that former SSRI users could experience some long-term psychological or neurobiological benefits from past treatment that influence fertility. However, the numbers of individual classes of medications were small, and further study is needed on the use of SSRIs.

So, ladies, stay happy and multipy!

BU School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers on the study were: Lauren Wise, Kenneth Rothman and Elizabeth Hatch, professors of epidemiology; Amelia Wesselink, a data analyst on the PRESTO study; and Jaimie Gradus, assistant professor of epidemiology at BUSPH and assistant professor of psychiatry at the BU School of Medicine. Ellen Mikkelsen of Aarhus University, Denmark, also contributed.