Antidepressants & IVF Treatment

Antidepressants & IVF Treatment

I'm planning an IVF cycle in a couple of months. My concern is that I'm taking an antidepressant (Zoloft 50mg) for PMS. Is it okay to take something like this, or could it cause problems with either the IVF or with a pregnancy? Cathy

While our present knowledge would suggest that it is safe to take Zoloft during the stimulation cycle, we usually advise our patients to discontinue all medications that are not absolutely necessary before starting IVF. Zoloft is cleared from the body quickly, so this should not delay your IVF treatment.

But it is also concerning that you are about to enter into some very stressful times. IVF may not be successful. That can cause stress. If it is successful, then you may worry about a healthy pregnancy outcome. That is stressful (and certainly normal). Then when you have the baby, that is also stressful. With this is mind, I recommend that all my IVF couples meet with a counselor to review strategies for lowering stress. In fact, studies show this can even improve pregnancy rates.

Simple ways to reduce stress can be to ensure you eat a well balanced nutritious diet, get enough sleep and exercise, begin taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, and avoid "natural-herbal" approaches, such as St. John's wort, which have been shown to hamper fertility.

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