The Depression and Infertility Link
In 1995, a study at Brown University in Rhode Island also concluded that depression and infertility appear to be linked. In this study regarding women’s mental health, Brown University researchers discovered that women with a past history of depression were up to twice as likely to undergo examinations for fertility concerns.
Positive Thinking for Fertility
Based on the apparent correlation between depression and infertility, many fertility specialists and therapists are suggesting that couples try to increase their fertility by directly addressing these negative thought patterns. There are a few methods now being taught to couples struggling to conceive to help them reshape their thought patterns in the hopes that it will increase their fertility.
Cognitive Restructuring Therapy
Cognitive restructuring therapy is a type of cognitive behavior therapy and is taught by a number of different social workers, psychologists, and fertility counselors. It is a type of therapy designed to help you and your partner address negative thought patterns and shape them into more positive thoughts.
- learning to identify negative thoughts
- learning to evaluate triggers for negative thoughts
- learning to "thought stop," or engage in techniques to help stop negative thoughts before they arise
- learning to reverse negative thoughts so that they become more positive
Does Positive Thinking Work?
According to recent studies, there is some merit in maintaining positive thought patterns when it comes to improving fertility. A study was performed in 2000 examining the effects of positive thinking on fertility rates in women struggling with infertility.
The 184 women involved in the study were divided into three separate groups: a cognitive restructuring group (those that took cognitive restructuring lessons), a support group (those who attended support groups to deal with the emotional stress of infertility), and a control group (those who sought no additional support for their infertility).
Pregnancy rates amongst the women in the control reached only 20%, while pregnancy rates for the other two groups were between 54% and 55%. Therefore, it appears that the power of positive thought really may have an influence on your fertility.