I’m really happy to share with you an exciting new research initiative about infertility treatment and depression that is being conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health

Called the Symptom Tracking in Assisted Reproductive Technologies study (START study), it will look at the risk factors for depressive relapse in women undergoing infertility treatments. What’s great about this study is that you can participate from wherever you are — you don’t need to live in Massachusetts to be part of it. 

MGH hopes that this research will provide important information on the course and risk of depression in women undergoing fertility treatment and thus inform clinical care. They’ll be looking at depression relapse risk in women who are getting infertility treatments, both for those who stop taking antidepressants during the treatment and those who continue to take them. They’ll also be looking at what might be risk factors for depression relapse, as well as what types of symptoms of depression women experiencing infertility treatment might experience. And they seek to identify biological markers of stress in women undergoing infertility treatment. The results of this research may lead to the future ability to develop personalized treatment to meet specific needs of the spectrum of women undergoing infertility treatment.

The START study is an observational study that tracks women’s moods symptoms over a period of six months.  Participation in the study involves brief monthly visits at Massachusetts General Hospital and the completion of at home mood and fertility treatment diaries, but can also be completed remotely for those women who do no live locally or who are unable to commit to clinic visits.  Those eligible for the study include all women with a history of major depression or bipolar depression currently in remission who are planning or are undergoing fertility treatment. Women interested in participating in this study may contact MGH by phone at 1-617-643-5154 or by e-mail at skmurphy@partners.org. You can also visit their study website athttp://www.womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/registry-signup/symptom-tracking-in-assisted-reproductive-technologies-start-study/ to learn more.