Can Sertraline affect your period?

In this article, we will discuss the effects of Sertraline on periods or menstrual health. We will also talk about the effects of Sertraline on the psychological effects of menstruation and what one should do if Sertraline is causing harmful changes in the body.

Can Sertraline affect your period?

Sertraline may affect periods in some women. Although it is not considered a common side effect, menstrual irregularities are considered possible and listed as the side effects of Sertraline and other antidepressants (1,2). 

Some women may experience heavy bleeding, spotting, or unusual bleeding between periods. According to the NHS (National Health Service), these changes are uncommon and considered serious side effects that should be discussed with a doctor properly (3). 

In some cases, SSRIs like Sertraline, Fluoxetine, and Escitalopram may also affect the process of ovulation. However, proper research is needed to establish a direct link and potential treatment plans. 

In general, Sertraline does not affect basic reproductive functions or fertility, and it does not affect fertility-related procedures, like in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

What does research suggest?

Several research studies have found a link between menstrual issues and Sertraline or antidepressants in general. One research review looked at 1432 women from multiple clinics and hospitals (4). They divided them into two groups: one taking antidepressants and one not. 

They found that menstrual problems were more common in the antidepressant group (24.6%) compared to the control group (12.2%). About 14.5% of menstrual issues were linked to antidepressant use, especially with drugs like Sertraline, Paroxetine, Venlafaxine, etc (4). 

Interestingly, the risk seemed similar for different types of antidepressants. 

In another case study,  a teenager developed amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) because of high prolactin levels caused by taking Sertraline (5). 

This happened two months after starting the medication, but when they stopped taking Sertraline, their menstrual cycle returned to normal. So, it shows that sertraline can sometimes lead to amenorrhea in adolescents by affecting prolactin levels (5). 

However, Sertraline can be prescribed for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

In one study, 314 women with PMS were split into two groups (6). One group took small amounts of sertraline for four menstrual cycles, and the other group took a placebo. 

They used different tests to see how the women felt. They observed that the women who took sertraline, especially at the lower dose, felt better during two menstrual cycles (6). 

This suggests that using a low amount of sertraline could be a safe and helpful way to treat moderate-to-severe PMS. some researchers suggest that depression itself can also affect periods and this not be linked to the antidepressant.

Can depression affect your period?

Yes, depression or high levels of stress can affect your menstrual cycle. This happens because these emotional states can mess with the hormonal balance in your body, and that can lead to irregularities in your period (7). 

Now, it’s important to note that this might not directly be related to Sertraline, but rather to the condition Sertraline is meant to treat, which is depression. 

If your period becomes irregular or problematic while taking Sertraline, it could be a sign that the medication isn’t effectively managing your depression. In such cases, it’s crucial to discuss this with your doctor. 

They can help determine if adjustments to your treatment plan are needed to better address both your emotional well-being and any related physiological changes.

What to do if Sertraline is affecting your period?

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider if Sertraline is affecting your period or causing you to be irregular. Your doctor may try dose reduction at first to help your body adjust to the medication and may increase your dose again after some time. 

Additionally, your doctor may recommend hormonal assays to check the levels of hormones in your body, like prolactin, to diagnose any potential hormonal changes that could affect your mental cycle. 

It’s all about finding the best strategy to help you feel your best, both mentally and physically. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.


In the article, we have discussed the effects of Sertraline on periods. We have also discussed some research studies and the fact that depression itself can affect the menstrual cycle and it not be directly linked to Sertraline. 

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from:


Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from:


National Health Service. Side effects of sertraline. [Internet]. London: National Health Service (NHS). Available from:


Uguz F, Sahingoz M, Kose SA, Ozbebit O, Sengul C, Selvi Y, Sengul CB, Ayhan MG, Dagistanli A, Askin R. Antidepressants and menstruation disorders in women: a cross-sectional study in three centers. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2012 Sep-Oct;34(5):529-33. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.03.014. Epub 2012 Apr 24. PMID: 22534402.


Ekinci N, Güneş S, Kalinli M, Ekinci Ö. Sertraline-Related Amenorrhea in an Adolescent. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2019 May/Jun;42(3):99-100. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000336. PMID: 30865005.


Kornstein SG, Pearlstein TB, Fayyad R, Farfel GM, Gillespie JA. Low-dose sertraline in the treatment of moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome: efficacy of 3 dosing strategies. J Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Oct;67(10):1624-32. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v67n1020. PMID: 17107257.


Padda J, Khalid K, Hitawala G, Batra N, Pokhriyal S, Mohan A, Zubair U, Cooper AC, Jean-Charles G. Depression and Its Effect on the Menstrual Cycle. Cureus. 2021 Jul 21;13(7):e16532. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16532. PMID: 34430141; PMCID: PMC8378322.

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