Among couples being treated for infertility, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances, according to a study. The study showed that couples in which the male partner had major depression were 60 per cent less likely to conceive and give birth than those in which the male partner did not have major depression.
On the other hand, depression in the female partner was not found to influence the rate of birth.
In addition, intake of a class of antidepressants known as non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (non-SSRIs) was also linked to a higher risk of early pregnancy loss among females being treated for infertility, the study appearing in the journal Fertility and Sterility, noted. However, SSRIs, another class of antidepressants, were not linked to pregnancy loss. Neither depression in the female partner nor the 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 Esther Eisenberg, at National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Maryland, US.
Citing previous studies, the authors noted that 41 per cent of women seeking fertility treatments have symptoms of depression. Another study of men seeking in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments reported that nearly 50 per cent experienced depression.
For the study, the team analysed data for 1,650 women and 1,608 men to evaluate the potential influence of depression in couples seeking non-IVF treatments. Among the women, 5.96 per cent were rated as having active major depression, compared to 2.28 per cent of the men.
Women using non-SSRIs were roughly 3.5 times as likely to have a first-trimester pregnancy loss, compared to those not using antidepressants.