SSRIs and Fertility
1. Plan your pregnancy before conception with a visit to your gyno, this is the best.
2. If you are on any medication, discuss if you need this medication continued or changed in preparation for pregnancy.
3. SSRIs should be discussed with your provider before getting pregnant.
4. Having trouble conceiving? Learn what you should expect a reasonable time line should be and what effect any medication would have on your desire for sex. Since SSRIs, the most commonly used antidepressant medication class, affect sexuality, would they have an effect on fertility like ovulation or sperm counts?
4. As for ovulation, no evidence shows that SSRI medications directly influence ovulation, but if they increase the pituitary gland hormone prolactin, ovulation may adversely be affected. Since men make so many extra sperm, and even fertile men may have highly variable sperm counts from week to week, so it's not really been possible to answer questions like this easily.
5. Don't forget your guy in this discussion.. Those men experiencing a decrease in sexuality when on SSRI medicines are less likely to have as much sex, which can of course affect the time a couple takes to conceive.
6. Find out what you can do to improve your chances of healthy conception. So some physicians are proactively testing women and men who are on medication prior to attempts at conception so that the couple can plan alternatives such as insemination with the partner's sperm or at least timed intercourse that improves fertility rates. For women: ovulation tests, for men: semen analysis.
7. You may want to get early pregnancy tests or early evaluation for pregnancy if you are on an SSRI. Once you become pregnant there is some evidence that SSRI use is linked to miscarriages. It is not clear whether it is the condition of depression that makes a woman prone to miscarry or if it's the fact of medication use itself.
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