Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Major Depression, Antidepressant Use, and Fertility

Fertil Steril; 2018 May; Evans-Hoeker, et al

Currently active major depression (MD) in a female partner does not negatively affect non-in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment outcomes, according to a recent study. However, currently active MD in the male partner may lower the likelihood of pregnancy. Furthermore, maternal antidepressant use is associated with first-trimester pregnancy loss, which may depend upon the type of antidepressant. Researchers conducted a cohort study to determine if maternal MD, antidepressant use, or paternal MD are associated with pregnancy outcomes after non-IVF fertility treatments. Data for 1,650 women and 1,608 men were included. They found:

  • Among women not using an antidepressant, the presence of currently active MD was not associated with poorer fertility outcomes (live birth, miscarriage), but rather was associated with a slightly increased likelihood of pregnancy.
  • Maternal antidepressant use (n=90) was associated with increased risk of miscarriage, and male partners with currently active MD were less likely to achieve conception.


Evans-Hoeker EA, Eisenberg E, Diamond MP, et al. Major depression, antidepressant use, and male and female fertility. Fertil Steril. 2018;109(5):879-887. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.01.029.

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