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Infertility may impact severity of menopause symptoms. Here's how

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Sep 25, 2023 08:12 AM IST

Check out these 4 common potential reasons on how infertility and menopause have a connection

Infertility and menopausal symptoms are related in a fascinating line of research that has attracted focus recently where according to several studies, women who struggle with infertility may be more likely to later have specific menopausal symptoms. According to a research done on almost 700 women that was published on August 1 in the journal of The Menopause Society, infertility may have an impact on women's health later in life, including the severity of their menopause symptoms and depressive mood, irritability and sleep issues were among the categories of individual symptoms that had higher reporting or severity among women experiencing infertility.

Infertility may impact severity of menopause symptoms. Here's how (Photo by Twitter/kjkhospitaltvm)
Infertility may impact severity of menopause symptoms. Here's how (Photo by Twitter/kjkhospitaltvm)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and Infertility Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre in New Delhi and Vrindavan, shared, “Not all women go through menopause in the same way. Numerous behavioral, biological, social, psychological and demographic factors influence the severity of menopause symptoms. It's important to keep in mind that additional research is required to properly comprehend the intricate connection between menopausal symptoms and infertility. Genetics, underlying illnesses, and individual variations in hormone reactions are a few more variables that could be responsible.”

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Dr Shobha Gupta highlighted some common potential reasons on how infertility and menopause have a connection -

  • Timing and Age: Age is a key factor in the relationship between these two situations. Infertility often causes women to wait longer to become pregnant, which can postpone the onset of menopause. Women who have menopausal symptoms later in life may have delayed menopause.
  • Hormonal Factors: Hormonal changes have an impact on both menopausal symptoms and infertility. Hormonal imbalances or diseases may be the root of infertility, and therapies like hormonal medications (such fertility drugs) can have an impact on a woman's hormonal profile. The severity and timing of menopausal symptoms may be affected by these hormonal changes.
  • Stress and Emotional impact: A woman's general health may be adversely affected by the emotional stress brought on by infertility. When a woman eventually enters menopause, chronic stress may make her symptoms worse. Women struggling with menopause and infertility may find it crucial to practice stress management techniques and receive psychological assistance.
  • History of treatment: Women who have had fertility procedures like in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may have certain medical histories and hormonal occurrences that can affect how they transition into menopause. When treating menopausal symptoms in women who have a history of infertility, it's critical for healthcare professionals to take these aspects into account.

Menopausal symptoms may be caused by the factors stated above as well as stressful life events, irritability, mood changes and lack of sleep. This study is the first to demonstrate that a prior history of infertility was connected with depressive symptoms specifically in midlife, despite the fact that many studies have demonstrated a relationship between infertility and depression.

Dr Shobha Gupta added, “The link between infertility history and sorrowful mood is crucial for women and healthcare professionals to understand because it shows that infertility history could be used to prompt increased screening for depressive symptoms in midlife.”

Depression Treatment During Menopause

As an infertility specialist Dr Shobha Gupta insisted on maintaining general health throughout the menopausal transition and assist in managing menopausal symptoms. She further elaborated that while there may be a link between menopausal symptoms and infertility, it is important to remember that everyone's experiences will be very different.

Not all women who struggle with infertility also suffer from more acute menopausal symptoms. By taking into account each woman's individual needs, medical professionals may provide individualised counselling and support that is tailored to her medical background and particular situation.

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