Does Sertraline affect IVF? (3 management strategies)

In this article, we will discuss whether Sertraline affects In-vitro fertilization (IVF). We will also discuss research studies and how to manage Sertraline use during IVF treatment.

Does Sertraline affect IVF?

No, Sertraline does not affect In-vitro fertilization (IVT) treatment. Sertraline use is typically not related to the IVF process and does not directly impact fertility treatments.

IVF is a fertility treatment procedure where an egg is fertilized with sperm outside the body in a laboratory setting and then implanted into the uterus to facilitate pregnancy. IVF is an expensive treatment used to help couples with fertility issues achieve pregnancy.

IVF is a complex and highly individualized process. Your fertility specialist will take into account your overall health, including any medications you are taking to maximize your chances of a successful IVF outcome. They can guide you on when and how to adjust your medication regimen if necessary.

However, it is important to address any underlying mental health issues with your healthcare provider, as untreated depression or anxiety can affect overall well-being, including fertility.

What does research suggest?

Many women undergoing fertility treatment experience depression and anxiety as a side effect. There are several research studies on SSRI use during fertility treatment by women experiencing depression.

One study justified the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Sertraline in women, who have undergone IVF treatment and experiencing depression and anxiety, as these mental health disorders can reduce the chance of successful pregnancy (1).

Another research study indicated that there is no proper evidence about SSRIs’ impact on fertility or their influence on the outcomes of infertility treatments in women. While there are some indications that SSRIs might have a negative effect on sperm quality of men taking these medications. Additional research is needed to understand this potential relationship (2).

Another research study indicated the safe use of SSRIs in pregnancy by depressed women. Except for Paroxetine, the use of SSRIs is not generally linked to higher risks of congenital abnormalities (3).

Managing Sertraline use during IVF treatment

Sertraline use during IVF treatment involves careful consideration and coordination between you and your healthcare provider.

Management Strategy 1: Before starting IVF treatment, discuss your mental health history and current medication including Sertraline with your fertility specialist and mental health professional. They will assess your situation and provide personalized guidance.

Management Strategy 2: If you are taking Sertraline for depression or anxiety during IVF, your mental healthcare provider can help determine whether a medication adjustment is required or not.

They can also guide you about psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy, lifestyle modification like regular exercise and a balanced diet, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, and holistic approaches including physical and psychological well-being.

Management Strategy 3: It is important to establish a routine of periodic check-ups and communicate with your healthcare provider about your fears and anxieties to alleviate the emotional burden of your fertility treatments.

They can assess you throughout the IVF process and help you cope with the uncertainty and emotional challenges, enhancing your overall well-being during this journey.

Precautions while taking Sertraline during IVF

Some important precautions related to IVF while taking Sertraline are:

  • High levels of stress or anxiety can affect your IVF treatment. If your healthcare team decides to continue Sertraline, make sure to follow their guidelines properly to manage stress and anxiety effectively during IVF treatment.
  • In case of any side effects of Sertraline report to your healthcare provider promptly. Do not skip the doses or discontinue the medication on your own as it may lead to serious side effects.


In conclusion, Sertraline is not known to cause any significant negative effect on IVF treatment. However, it is important to remember that each person’s situation is unique and decisions regarding Sertraline use during IVF should be made in consultation with your healthcare team. They will help you manage your mental health and optimise your chances of a successful IVF outcome.

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Milosavljević JZ, Milosavljević MN, Arsenijević PS, Milentijević MN, Stefanović SM. The effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on male and female fertility: a brief literature review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2022 Mar;26(1):43-49. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2021.1872647. Epub 2021 Jan 22. PMID: 33480810.


Sylvester C, Menke M, Gopalan P. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Fertility: Considerations for Couples Trying to Conceive. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2019 Mar/Apr;27(2):108-118. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000204. PMID: 30676405.


Soufia M, Aoun J, Gorsane MA, Krebs MO. ISRS et grossesse: revue de la littérature [SSRIs and pregnancy: a review of the literature]. Encephale. 2010 Dec;36(6):513-6. French. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 Apr 3. PMID: 21130237.

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