Infertility and Perinatal Loss: When the Bough Breaks

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Women's Health


Infertility and perinatal loss are common, and associated with lower quality of life, marital discord, complicated grief, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Young women, who lack social supports, have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss or a history of trauma and / or preexisting psychiatric illness are at a higher risk of experiencing psychiatric illnesses or symptoms after a perinatal loss or during infertility. It is especially important to detect, assess, and treat depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric symptoms because infertility or perinatal loss may be caused or perpetuated by such symptoms. Screening, psychoeducation, provision of resources and referrals, and an opportunity to discuss their loss and plan for future pregnancies can facilitate addressing mental health concerns that arise. Women at risk of or who are currently experiencing psychiatric symptoms should receive a comprehensive treatment plan that includes the following: (1) proactive clinical monitoring, (2) evidence-based approaches to psychotherapy, and (3) discussion of risks, benefits, and alternatives of medication treatment during preconception and pregnancy.


UMCCTS funding, Anxiety, Depression, Infertility, Perinatal loss

DOI of Published Version



Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Mar;18(3):31. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0663-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current psychiatry reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID