Anti-Depressants, Anti-Sperm?

If you take antidepressants and are having difficulty with conception, there may be a reason. A study of 35 men by researchers at Weill Medical College of Cornell University found that the antidepressant paroxetine may reduce male fertility. The number of sperm with fragmented DNA rose from 14 percent to 30 percent in the men taking paroxetine. “We know that antidepressants affect serotonin, and that decreases your sex drive,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. “This study showed that it actually affected the movement, the motility, the strength of sperm.”

However, this is a small study and The Doctors do not advise stopping antidepressants if a doctor has prescribed them for you. OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says not all antidepressants have an effect on male fertility, but if you are having trouble conceiving while on antidepressants, talk to your doctor. “The doctors who prescribe these know how to deal with the secondary problems,” Dr. Ordon says.

To keep your sperm healthy, avoid laying warm objects, such as laptop computers, on your lap because sperm need a cool environment to thrive. Smoking, prolonged heat to the testicles and wearing tight underwear can cause fertility problems, as well.