Clinical Edge

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Effects of Antidepressants on Fertility

Does use hinder ability to conceive?

The use of antidepressants may reduce the probability of women with a history of depression to conceive naturally, but the association due to antidepressant use vs the underlying depression is not clear. This according to a study of 957 women aged 30 to 44 years without history of infertility. Medication use was assessed at enrollment, daily for up to 4 months, and then monthly. Researchers found:

• 92 women reported antidepressant use while attempting to conceive.

• Women taking antidepressants were more likely to be non-Hispanic Caucasian (91% vs 75%) and to consume alcoholic beverages (74% vs 61%).

• Antidepressant use at enrollment had an adjusted fertility rate (FR) of 0.86.

• Antidepressant use in a given cycle is associated with a reduced probability of conceiving in that cycle (aFR=0.75).

• After adjusting for history of depression or restricting the analysis to women who reported a history of depression, the association between antidepressant use and decreased fecundability remained (aFR=0.66) and (aFR=0.64).

Citation: Casilla-Lennon MM, Meltzer-Brody SM, Steiner AZ. The effect of antidepressants on fertility. [Published online ahead of print January 28, 2016]. Am J Obstet Gynecol. doi:

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