Infertility patients experiencing chronic stress are being diagnosed with psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety – leading to calls for better mental health support for patients.
Couples have reported feeling isolated and stigmatised as a result of difficulties conceiving, with added difficulties being around other families with children.
Mental health pressures have grown astronomically in the USA, after recent news that the overturning of Roe v Wade resulted in fears around the effects legislation could have on IVF.
The link between infertility and mental health is perhaps not surprising given the trauma and stress associated with the experience. The fact that 200 million babies are expected to be born through IVF by 2100 only highlights the number of patients who are opting for the treatment, and are therefore in the category of those more likely to suffer with psychiatric issues.
Mental health support for fertility patients
UK mental health platform Harper has just announced (August 2022) their first three clinics to make its service available to patients – in a move to improve mental health support for infertility patients.
The company, which combined AI with human empathy, has partnered with a majority of the UK’s leading fertility clinics including GENNET City Fertility, Harley Street Fertility Clinic, and King’s Fertility, and is now on its way to tackling mental health numbers in fertility patients.
The company’s solution aims to meet the mental health and well-being needs during the fertility journey of patients and their partners.
“The first time ever”
Mithi Thaya, Founder and CEO of Harper said we are seeing such a support system for the first time ever. He added: “At Harper we sit at the crossroads between mental health and health conditions to help every single patient going through treatment.
“Firstly to help the journey, as it is extremely difficult, but secondly, to help with the success of the outcomes. We are contributing to their mental and physical condition.
“For the first time ever, we are seeing a support system that improves the patient’s journey, which is why we are so proud of the partnerships with the UK’s leading fertility clinics.’
London-based GENNET City Fertility is part a specialist provider of assisted reproduction services through 42 clinics across Europe, with over 39,000 IVF cycles each year which bring over 10,000 new babies into the world.
Lukáš Beranek, Managing Director at GENNET City Fertility said, “GENNET City Fertility is excited to be working in partnership with Harper Care.
“Scientifically backed, it promises to help support our patients’ mental health throughout their fertility journey.
He added: “Going through any fertility treatment is an emotional rollercoaster, the fact that we can provide our patients with a friendly personal well-being coach that they can speak to at any point during their time with us will only be of benefit to them and their overall experience.”
Harper was founded by a team of clinicians, scientists and software engineers who started as one of the first medical clinics specialised in preventative medicine, working to help people live as the happiest, healthiest versions of themselves.
Dr Theodore Cosco, Harper co-founder and chief of science commented: “We are trying to highlight the link between physical and mental health and the knock-on effects of mental health on physical outcomes.
“We are not disrupting the clinical model, we are complementing the system and supporting the patients’ journey which has been proven to produce better outcomes.”