“Is it safe to use my SSRI during IVF? Will it harm my chances during ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology)?”
In our practice, we get asked these questions so often.
First and foremost, we remind all of our patients that the highest priority is to have them feeling as emotionally well as possible. We carefully review their mental health history, their severity of illness, past treatments, risk of relapse, and other psychosocial factors to figure out what will maintain their emotional health. If that includes medications, then we will come up with a decision that feels comfortable for them.
But still, many continue to feel concerned that somehow, by taking a prescribed medication such as an antidepressant, it will somehow harm their chances with IVF.
Reassuringly, a 2017 study by C.A. Hernandez-Nieto et al. in Fertility and Sterility (a publication of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine) found no difference in rates of blastulation rate, total number of eggs retrieved, fertilization rates, and total number of eggs cryopreserved, between those who were taking SSRIs and those who were not.
In their conclusion, the authors of this first of its kind study felt that “Prescribers can confidently administer SSRIs to patients undergoing ART treatment.”
If an SSRI is part of your treatment plan for managing your depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or other mental health challenges, here is one study that can provide more information for you to consider as you determine what is best for you in your fertility journey.
As always, please discuss with your own clinicians to determine what is best for your own needs.