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Male fertility decreases with SSRI use


Cruizer
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Hello all, 

 

I wanted to post this topic because it is something that i have actual evidence on because it involves me. 

I have been on zoloft (sertraline) for almost 8 years now in total. This includes my 18 months of tapering down to 36mg which is my current dose. 

When my wife and i started trying for children around 4 years ago, i was on 150mg of zoloft. We tried for close to 18 months but could not seem to fall pregnant. We were both in our twenties, me being almost 30 and my wife 26 so age was on our side. As we were not getting anywhere we decided to look into things and possible causes for our issues with conceiving. My wife was basically in perfect health and there was no outstanding issues with her. Myself on the other hand was a different story. In basically all of the categories they test on sperm i fell below the level in which they consider to be low. I was especially low in morphology. I had a feeling back then that this could be something to do with the zoloft i was taking but of course no doctor i spoke with including the fertility doctor could confirm that the drugs would have an effect on the quality of sperm. In the end my wife and I decided to try IVF and fast forward almost 3 years and we have a beautiful son who as I write this is 16 months old. 

So around 2 months ago my wife and i were discussing trying for our 2nd child and thought that as we had so many issues conceiving the first time that we better have a look at where all our levels were at now, particularly mine. 

Now i have been weaning off of the zoloft for around 18 months now and i have gone from 150mg down to 36mg so far. When i had another sperm analysis done i was taking around 40mg at the time; a significant drop from what i was taking when qe had to go through IVF. 

Well the results came back and what do you know, my sperm has improved through the roof. I am now not low in any of the categories they measure. In fact most of them i have more than quadrupled in numbers. These tests were performed at the same laboratory which is a fertility centre so they are far more thorough than say your normal doctor. I have not changed diets, or changed lifestyle significantly. The only thing that has changed significantly is the dose of poison I mean ssri medication i am on. 

There is not a lot of studies on male fertility and ssri medication but I did find one article which highlighted something that was alarming to me. 

http://www.thesexmd.com/antidepressants-and-male-fertility/

In this article 100% of male patients tested after 3 months of treatment with an ssri fell more than 50% in each category. That's every patient!!!! 

I guess you never really know how true it can be until you get your own results back and it paints the same picture. 

It makes me so angry to think about what stress this brought to my wife and I and all of the terrible things she had to go through in IVF. It also cost me around $10k to go through this. But and the but is very big; I do have the little miracle i call my son out of it so it ain't all that bad. 

For all the male members on here who are trying to start a family and are having troubles, perhaps this can shed some light on what is going on.

Cheers

Started Sertraline (Zoloft) September 2009. 50mg then to 100mg within a week. Floated between 150mg and 100mg for the next 6 years. 

February 2016 began tapering from 150mg

2017; 55mg-22mg; 2018; 22mg-19mg. Jan 2018 surgery on my knee and collarbone which seemed to cause a crash 3 weeks later. 12/02/18. Held for 6 months at 19mg. 12/08/18 19mg-18mg; 10/09/18 18mg-17mg; Held for another 7 months

17/04/19 began tapering at 0.5mg per 2 weeks and reached 4.5mg on 19/03/20; CRASHED after a heavy alcohol session in late Feb. Attempted to restart taper August 2020 by dropping to 4.25mg. Updosed back to 4.5mg after 3 days. 2nd attempt to restart 4 weeks later in September 2020 dropping to 4.25mg again this time updosing back to 4.5mg 4 days later. 

Last attempt to taper November 2021. 4.5mg to 4.4mg lasted 15 days then updosed back to 4.5mg due to severe apathy and cognitive issues

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  • scallywag changed the title to Male Fertility decreases with SSRI use

I whole heartedly believe this.  I've never had my sperm counts tested, but I have messed up hormone levels that I believe are directly related to SSRI use.  I can't prove it at the moment, but there is no other reason for it that I have found.  I'm happy to hear you have a beautiful son despite what you went through.  You can't put a price on a child.

April 26th - 36.5>32.8mg Z.

Feb 4th - 40.5>36.5mg Zoloft.

Jan 5th - 45>40.5mg Zoloft.

Dec 6th - 50>45mg Zoloft.

Nov 1st - 53>50.0mg Zoloft. Sep 22/17 - 50.0>53.0mg Zoloft. Sep 18/17 - 59.0>50.0mg Zoloft.

Aug 7/17 - 65.6>59.0mg  July 18/17 - 72.9>65.6mg. June 18/17 - 81>72.9mg 

May 28/17 - 90>81mg.  May 8/17:  Started my taper. 100>90mg

1995 to May 8/17:  100mg Zoloft/day.  Working well but suspecting some signs of Tolerance this past year.

4/5/17:  Started Testosterone Replacement Therapy via T pellet insertion.  Diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism.

Supplements:  1000mg fish oil, 10,000iu Vit D3 with K2, 400mg Magnesium.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Male fertility decreases with SSRI use
  • 1 month later...

Hi there, 

 

Was on 10 mgs of Cit for about 6 months and have tapered down to 5.7mg over the last 6 months. No real issues. 

 

Me and my wife have been trying for a baby with no joy so I went and got a sperm test done. Turns out I have a low sperm count. Need another test done to confirm this.

 

I know there can be a million reasons but is there any research to link SSRI's to low male fertility.

 

Or can withdrawing cause extra stress and affect things. Would I be safer holding?

 

I don't want to be rash but if any relationship I'm need off this quicker. 

 

I take 5 mgs of Valium for a sleep disorder. 

 

Have a meeting with a fertility clinic in a months time but I'm not very patient! 

 

Appreciate your honesty as always as I asked the doctor and he told me definitely no relationship. I don't trust doctors! 

 

Thanks

 

Grill.

Currently tapering from 20 mgs Valium. Down to 5.62 mgs but struggling really badly with anxiety. Am going to have to hold for a few months. Been taking Citalopram (10mgs for 4 months) but don't think it's been doing anything. 

 

06/10/16 - Started tapering off Cit 14 days ago. Got hit with my first day of anxiety yesterday. Still able to function but just noticeable. Trying to accept it as just a symptom. 

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Hi, 

 

Does anyone have any info on this? 

 

Cheers

 

Grill. 

Currently tapering from 20 mgs Valium. Down to 5.62 mgs but struggling really badly with anxiety. Am going to have to hold for a few months. Been taking Citalopram (10mgs for 4 months) but don't think it's been doing anything. 

 

06/10/16 - Started tapering off Cit 14 days ago. Got hit with my first day of anxiety yesterday. Still able to function but just noticeable. Trying to accept it as just a symptom. 

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/24/2017 at 11:30 PM, Cruizer said:

Hello all, 

 

I wanted to post this topic because it is something that i have actual evidence on because it involves me. 

I have been on zoloft (sertraline) for almost 8 years now in total. This includes my 18 months of tapering down to 36mg which is my current dose. 

When my wife and i started trying for children around 4 years ago, i was on 150mg of zoloft. We tried for close to 18 months but could not seem to fall pregnant. We were both in our twenties, me being almost 30 and my wife 26 so age was on our side. As we were not getting anywhere we decided to look into things and possible causes for our issues with conceiving. My wife was basically in perfect health and there was no outstanding issues with her. Myself on the other hand was a different story. In basically all of the categories they test on sperm i fell below the level in which they consider to be low. I was especially low in morphology. I had a feeling back then that this could be something to do with the zoloft i was taking but of course no doctor i spoke with including the fertility doctor could confirm that the drugs would have an effect on the quality of sperm. In the end my wife and I decided to try IVF and fast forward almost 3 years and we have a beautiful son who as I write this is 16 months old. 

So around 2 months ago my wife and i were discussing trying for our 2nd child and thought that as we had so many issues conceiving the first time that we better have a look at where all our levels were at now, particularly mine. 

Now i have been weaning off of the zoloft for around 18 months now and i have gone from 150mg down to 36mg so far. When i had another sperm analysis done i was taking around 40mg at the time; a significant drop from what i was taking when qe had to go through IVF. 

Well the results came back and what do you know, my sperm has improved through the roof. I am now not low in any of the categories they measure. In fact most of them i have more than quadrupled in numbers. These tests were performed at the same laboratory which is a fertility centre so they are far more thorough than say your normal doctor. I have not changed diets, or changed lifestyle significantly. The only thing that has changed significantly is the dose of poison I mean ssri medication i am on. 

There is not a lot of studies on male fertility and ssri medication but I did find one article which highlighted something that was alarming to me. 

http://www.thesexmd.com/antidepressants-and-male-fertility/

In this article 100% of male patients tested after 3 months of treatment with an ssri fell more than 50% in each category. That's every patient!!!! 

I guess you never really know how true it can be until you get your own results back and it paints the same picture. 

It makes me so angry to think about what stress this brought to my wife and I and all of the terrible things she had to go through in IVF. It also cost me around $10k to go through this. But and the but is very big; I do have the little miracle i call my son out of it so it ain't all that bad. 

For all the male members on here who are trying to start a family and are having troubles, perhaps this can shed some light on what is going on.

Cheers

Hi. I realise this post is old but was drawn to it. The journey that lead to my discovery of these drugs interfering with the hpg and sperm quality is heartbreaking for me and i see drs/specialists as untustworthy people now. Have you any idea of the time frame on achieving better sperm quality/concentration? If you're still floating around here that is. Gus.

Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I suggest you do a search online for:  male fertility and antidepressants

 

First published September 2019:

 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/iju.14111

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator
11 hours ago, Gussy said:

Hi. I realise this post is old but was drawn to it. The journey that lead to my discovery of these drugs interfering with the hpg and sperm quality is heartbreaking for me and i see drs/specialists as untustworthy people now. Have you any idea of the time frame on achieving better sperm quality/concentration? If you're still floating around here that is. Gus.

They increased my prolactin levels. Docs were worried why that might be and I found a study that showed it was the SSRIs. 

Also diagnosed twice with thyroid inflammation while on SSRIs. As I weaned off of SSRIs also came off of thyroid meds and levels are OK now. 

 

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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I found an endocrinologist who almost hit the roof when i told him how ivf drs said it was fine to be on effexor while we blew tones of $$. He tested my hormones after only 10 months off and my t had doubled. I.d hate to think what it might be now. He also said they can damage sperm. Every other specialist/g.p/whoever didn.t know this, he was adamant. It.s very upsetting to find out i should.ve trusted snippets on the net over those idiots. It may not be the total reason for our lack of success but it def contributed.

Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All, for some reason I am not getting notified via email when people post on topics I have discussed so only seeing this now.

Gussy, I am not really aware of time frames of sperm improving however what I can tell you is that even when I was still on SSRI (I still am now) the quality improved as I got lower in dose. What I can also tell you is that I remember a fertility doctor telling me that it take around 3 months for new sperm to fully "mature" so the sperm that might be the "lucky winner" to get your partner pregnant was actually first made 3 months ago. Therefore you will need to take that into account to what your drug intake was like back 3 months ago if that makes sense.

Look I am certainly no expert on this topic, merely sharing what I have personally experienced. My first child was IVF as my wife and I had tried to conceive for 18 months with no success. However by the time we tried for our 2nd child I had dropped from 150mg to 40mg of Zoloft and tests showed that the quality of my sperm (albeit still not perfect) was 7 times better than when I was first tested a few years prior. And what do you know....it only took 2 months of trying to conceive naturally for my wife to fall pregnant.

We now have 2 healthy boys 4 and 2 years old. I have not been tested since being on 40mg of Zoloft and as I am not looking to have any more children at the moment, I have not bothered. Once I am completely off the meds (current dose 4.5mg) I may look to get tested simply out of curiosity.

All the best with your journey and I hope you are blessed with children soon. It is a tough pill to swallow but no matter how difficult the process might be for you and your partner, the birth of a child no matter how you got there is the important part.

Started Sertraline (Zoloft) September 2009. 50mg then to 100mg within a week. Floated between 150mg and 100mg for the next 6 years. 

February 2016 began tapering from 150mg

2017; 55mg-22mg; 2018; 22mg-19mg. Jan 2018 surgery on my knee and collarbone which seemed to cause a crash 3 weeks later. 12/02/18. Held for 6 months at 19mg. 12/08/18 19mg-18mg; 10/09/18 18mg-17mg; Held for another 7 months

17/04/19 began tapering at 0.5mg per 2 weeks and reached 4.5mg on 19/03/20; CRASHED after a heavy alcohol session in late Feb. Attempted to restart taper August 2020 by dropping to 4.25mg. Updosed back to 4.5mg after 3 days. 2nd attempt to restart 4 weeks later in September 2020 dropping to 4.25mg again this time updosing back to 4.5mg 4 days later. 

Last attempt to taper November 2021. 4.5mg to 4.4mg lasted 15 days then updosed back to 4.5mg due to severe apathy and cognitive issues

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/3/2020 at 11:20 AM, Cruizer said:

Hi All, for some reason I am not getting notified via email when people post on topics I have discussed so only seeing this now.

Gussy, I am not really aware of time frames of sperm improving however what I can tell you is that even when I was still on SSRI (I still am now) the quality improved as I got lower in dose. What I can also tell you is that I remember a fertility doctor telling me that it take around 3 months for new sperm to fully "mature" so the sperm that might be the "lucky winner" to get your partner pregnant was actually first made 3 months ago. Therefore you will need to take that into account to what your drug intake was like back 3 months ago if that makes sense.

Look I am certainly no expert on this topic, merely sharing what I have personally experienced. My first child was IVF as my wife and I had tried to conceive for 18 months with no success. However by the time we tried for our 2nd child I had dropped from 150mg to 40mg of Zoloft and tests showed that the quality of my sperm (albeit still not perfect) was 7 times better than when I was first tested a few years prior. And what do you know....it only took 2 months of trying to conceive naturally for my wife to fall pregnant.

We now have 2 healthy boys 4 and 2 years old. I have not been tested since being on 40mg of Zoloft and as I am not looking to have any more children at the moment, I have not bothered. Once I am completely off the meds (current dose 4.5mg) I may look to get tested simply out of curiosity.

All the best with your journey and I hope you are blessed with children soon. It is a tough pill to swallow but no matter how difficult the process might be for you and your partner, the birth of a child no matter how you got there is the important part.

Hey thanks for your reply. Congrats on your 2 boys, you're very lucky to have them. Gus.

Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

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