Q&A: Will antidepressants hurt my chances to get pregnant?
Which antidepressants will not impede conception?
The biggest risk of taking any medication while trying to become pregnant lies in the possible effects the medication may have on your baby if you do indeed conceive. Studies are limited and not as comprehensive as they could be due to the ethics of testing medications on pregnant women.
Depression can affect many women and one of the symptoms of depression may be a decrease in libido, or sex drive. Ironically enough, certain antidepressants may have the same effect! Most clinicians agree that if a woman has been on medication for major depression, it should be carefully discussed before taking her off the drug. In a risk-benefit analysis, most healthcare providers agree it is best for her to continue with the medication if possible. If the depression is minor and could be treated with psychotherapy (i.e., counseling) this should be considered.
Drs. Julia Coleman, MD, and Ruta Nonacs, MD, PhD, state the following with regard to medications and infertility:
While there is little data regarding the pharmacologic treatment of patients with infertility, pharmacotherapy remains an important option for women and men who develop depression in the context of infertility and its treatment. Many women avoid pharmacologic treatment for fear that medication may impact their fertility or may affect the outcome of their pregnancy; however, there are no data to suggest that commonly used antidepressants negatively affect fertility. Furthermore, data accumulated over the last decade suggest that certain antidepressants may be used safely during pregnancy.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant and are
taking an antidepressant, or any medication for that matter, it is important to talk it over with your healthcare provider. The same holds true for your partner, as recent research has shown that
antidepressants can impede male fertility too.