Women with a history of infertility may experience earlier menopause and more severe symptoms compared to those without such a history, according to a recent study.
The research, published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society, explores how infertility may lead to more severe symptoms, particularly mood swings, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Understanding these links can help healthcare professionals provide better support to women experiencing suich a sitaution after struggling with infertility.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT
Menopause is a complex process that varies among women due to numerous factors. This study examines the possibility that infertility could impact the severity of the symptoms. Previous research suggested a correlation between reproductive history and menopause onset and symptoms. The new study aimed to delve deeper into the relationship between infertility and the onset of menopause or the intensity of such symptoms.
The findings indicate that women with a history of infertility may experience earlier menopause and more severe symptoms compared to those without such a history. Stressful life events, including infertility, have been shown to exacerbate the symptoms, with infertility being as distressing as receiving a cancer diagnosis. The study’s focus was to assess the impact of a lifetime history of infertility on the symptoms in nearly 700 midlife women.
DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AND SLEEP PROBLEMS IN WOMEN WITH INFERTILITY
The research reveals a significant association between a history of infertility and increased odds of experiencing certain symptoms, notably sleep problems, depressive mood, and irritability. However, no conclusive link was found between infertility and other common symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or anxiety.
The study’s novel finding is that a prior history of infertility might be a potential flag for increased screening of depressive symptoms in midlife. Previous studies have shown that a substantial percentage of women undergoing infertility evaluation and treatment display signs of depression. Thus, understanding this connection can help medical professionals’ better support women facing menopause with a history of infertility.
Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director for The Menopause Society, emphasizes the importance of this study in providing insights into the association between infertility and menopausal symptoms. She suggests that women in midlife with a history of infertility could benefit from enhanced screening for depression.
The study offers valuable insights into the potential impact of infertility on menopause symptoms. Healthcare professionals can use this information to provide better care and support to women experiencing menopause after facing infertility challenges.