Skip to main content
NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Male Depression May Lower Pregnancy Chances Among Infertile Couples

Young man with folded hands in front of his face.

Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, according to an NIH-funded study.

Photo: theprint/Thinkstock

Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, while depression in the female partner was not found to influence the rate of live birth, according to a study funded by NIH.

The study, which appears in Fertility and Sterility, also linked a class of antidepressants known as non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (non-SSRIs) to a higher risk of early pregnancy loss among females being treated for infertility. SSRIs, another class of antidepressants, were not linked to pregnancy loss. Neither depression in the female partner nor use of any other class of antidepressant were linked to lower pregnancy rates.

“Our study provides infertility patients and their physicians with new information to consider when making treatment decisions,” said study author Dr. Esther Eisenberg of NICHD, which funded the study.

Citing previous studies, the authors noted that 41 percent of women seeking fertility treatments have symptoms of depression. In addition, a study of men seeking IVF treatments found that nearly 50 percent experienced depression. The authors conducted the current study to evaluate the potential influence of depression in couples seeking non-IVF treatments.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Associate Editor: Carla Garnett
Carla.Garnett@nih.gov

Staff Writers:

Eric Bock
Eric.Bock@nih.gov

Dana Talesnik
Dana.Talesnik@nih.gov

Back to Top