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Fertility & Medications

After years of trying to conceive, one of my fertility patients has just discovered that her husband’s medication is known to reduce male fertility. He had been taking Salazopyrin, a commonly used medication for inflammatory bowel disease, which has been shown to reduce male infertility as well as an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects if the drug is taken in the three months before conception. The good news is that the effect on male fertility is usually reversed within 2-3 months of stopping the medication but still very frustrating for this couple who were unaware of the effects of this drug on his fertility.

This story really highlights the need to check the side effects of all medications if you are trying to conceive.

There are several prescription medications that can affect both male and female fertility, most of them temporarily but sometimes permanently. Arthritis medication, anti-depressants, high blood pressure medication, antibiotics and cancer medications can cause fertility problems. The reflux medication Tagamet is known to cause abnormal sperm production. Antihistamines can dry up fertile mucus and have a damaging effect on sperm while pain relief medications such as ibuprofen and asprin can affect the ability of the embryo to implant into the uterine lining.

It is important to consult your doctor before stopping or changing any of your medications. In many cases, homeopathic treatment can be effective with no side effects.

More information about the side effects of medications can be found by telephoning the Medicines Line in Australia on 1300 888 763.