Can a Woman’s Infertility Lead Her to Alcohol Abuse? | Lakeview

Can a Woman’s Infertility Lead Her to Alcohol Abuse?

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Sarah Franklin Program Director Stepping Stone Center for Recovery


Published: September 7, 2012

I recently read an interesting article correlating infertility in women with the development of alcoholism. It’s upsetting to believe that the disappointment of not being able to have kids would lead to alcohol abuse. But, isn’t this the way that addiction works? Oftentimes we get disappointed about not meeting expectations that we have about our lives. For these women, it was the let down and extreme sadness of not being able to be a mother. Danish researchers presented their findings at the recent meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul. They found that for infertile women, “the risk of being hospitalized for alcoholism or substance abuse was 103 per cent higher – or just over twice as high – as it was in women who got pregnant after seeing an infertility specialist.” These staggering statistics indicate that the failure to conceive has a tremendous impact and influence on the development of alcoholism. The determination and struggle to become a mother can affect a women’s identity, and failure to achieve this goal may be a catalyst for addiction. Many of the women affected by infertility were affected by other mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. Our mental health can be greatly impacted by alcoholism and our disease uses alcohol to hurt our mental health. We enter alcohol rehab to eliminate alcohol dependency and learn how to cope positively with disappointment. As addicts, we must be flexible with ourselves and expectations and accept disappointments that are out of our control, like for these women. Share your thoughts with us below.

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