Major depression, antidepressant use, and male and female fertility.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To determine if maternal major depression (MD), antidepressant use, or paternal MD are associated with pregnancy outcomes after non-IVF fertility treatments.


Cohort study.




Participants in two randomized trials: PPCOS II (clomiphene citrate versus letrozole for polycystic ovary syndrome), and AMIGOS (gonadotropins versus clomiphene citrate versus letrozole for unexplained infertility).


Female and male partners completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Female medication use was collected. PHQ-9 score ≥10 was used to define currently active MD.

Main outcome measure(s)

Primary outcome: live birth.

Secondary outcomes

pregnancy, first-trimester miscarriage. Poisson regression models were used to determine relative risks after adjusting for age, race, income, months trying to conceive, smoking, and study (PPCOS II versus AMIGOS).


Data for 1,650 women and 1,608 men were included. Among women not using an antidepressant, the presence of currently active MD was not associated with poorer fertility outcomes (live birth, miscarriage), but rather was associated with a slightly increased likelihood of pregnancy. Maternal antidepressant use (n = 90) was associated with increased risk of miscarriage, and male partners with currently active MD were less likely to achieve conception.


Currently active MD in the female partner does not negatively affect non-IVF treatment outcomes; however, currently active MD in the male partner may lower the likelihood of pregnancy. Maternal antidepressant use is associated with first-trimester pregnancy loss, which may depend upon the type of antidepressant.

Clinical trial registration numbers

NCT00719186 and NCT01044862.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Evans-Hoeker, EA; Eisenberg, E; Diamond, MP; Legro, RS; Alvero, R; Coutifaris, C; Casson, PR; Christman, GM; Hansen, KR; Zhang, H; Santoro, N; Steiner, AZ; Reproductive Medicine Network,

Published Date

  • May 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 879 - 887

PubMed ID

  • 29778387

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5973807

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1556-5653

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0015-0282

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.01.029


  • eng