Or at least it does if you don't resolve it - so get on that.
Last week, a researcher at the University of Denmark released the results of a study on couples who underwent IVF for infertility. According to the study, the mortality rates for those couples who were childless were higher than those couples whose IVF treatments worked or who subsequently adopted children. Doctors attributed this to the stress cause by infertility treatment and/or the lifestyle difference between those with children and those without.
I don't buy this.
Don't get me wrong. Infertility treatments are stressful. This is a large reason why we didn't pursue IVF (that and it was expensive with no guarantee of the payoff). I wasn't sure that I could mentally handle a failed IVF cycle. I've always struggled with anxiety and depression, but both were exacerbated by infertility treatments. A failed IVF cycle would have pushed me over the edge. To be honest, a failed adoption would have pushed me over the edge, too. Thankfully, we never had to experience either.
But I don't believe that the stress of infertility will kill you. Nor do I believe that your lifestyle becomes so much different than those who have children.
It seems like scare tactics. As if people who want children and can't have them need to be pushed any further toward the cliff of complete insanity. But why bring on this discussion? What is the point of telling people who can't have kids that they are going to die sooner than everyone else around them if they don't succeed? Let's scare the shit out of a group that doesn't need anything else to fear. That sounds like fun. It makes me wonder if IVF clinics sponsored this, just to get more people coming through their doors.
It's also interesting that they focused solely on couples going through IVF treatment, as well, rather than focusing on the entire population of childless couples. What about couples who choose not to have children? Or couples who choose to adopt children without the diagnosis of infertility? Do they live longer as a result of those life choices?
How long we live depends on a myriad of factors. You can't point the finger at any one reason or the decision behind it. I could get hit by a bus and die tomorrow; I have a child. Those two things have nothing to do with one another. And unless my uterus explodes one day, I'm fairly confident that, when it is my time to go, my reproductive capabilities will have nothing to do with my exit from earth.
Infertility certainly feels like death some days. But don't believe for a second that it will kill you - with kids as the result or without.