Need Advise on Getting Pregnant and Anti-depressants.

Updated on November 27, 2006
M.B. asks from Lake Villa, IL
9 answers

My husband and I want to get pregnant. I take Zoloft and Welbutrin. I was told I might not be able to get pregnant if I am on anti-depressants.

I have also been taking over the counter prenatal vitamins for a while now.

Does anyone know if this is true? Has anyone gone through this?

I have had bad depression since I had my daughter 6 years ago. It has continued with the help of my ex-husband. Now I just want to start a family with my husband. I would go off of the medication exept I am afraid of hitting bottom without them.

Thanks for any info. M.

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So What Happened?

I am now 7 weeks pregnant! (12/20)

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answers from Chicago on


Please do NOT go off your meds without consulting your doctor.

First things first... who do you get your meds from? Your family doctor or your psychiatrist?

Second.. who told you you would have problems getting pregnant while on the meds?

I am a mother of a 19 month old little girl and I suffer from severe anxiety problems. I am on 100 miligrams of zoloft and feel great! When I got pregnant I was on 50 miligrams and as the pregnancy progressed, my psychiatrist increased the miligrams since your blood levels increase and would dilute the medicine. After giving birth I went down to 75 miligrams but for whatever reason I didn't feel as good on that and went up to 100 and haven't been better!

I made sure that my OBGYN knew and approved of me being on zoloft during the pregnancy. She preferred I not be on medicine but said their was not any danger to me or the baby. Very little of the Zoloft passes to the baby, and what does pass they said was not harmful at all.

Welbutrin I am not familiar with. I had severe side affects with Welbutrin and got off of that many years ago. It may be that the complication could be with that medicine, but I don't know.

What I do know is that stress and depression will make it very difficult to get pregnant and/or remain pregnant. If you are being treated for depression, then being on the medicine will help you eliminate one major hurdle... depression.

The key is to be sure that your Pychiatrist and OBGYN have the same information. Your OBGYN will possibly call your Psychiatrist which is a good thing.

I wish you the best of luck and regardless of what non-medical individuals tell you, you need to do what is right for you and your baby! Whatever you decide will work!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I was considering getting on an anti-depressant before I got pregnant w/ my baby.. but then decided to wait. I saw a psychiatrist and they said that zoloft is one of the safest anit-depressants to take if you need it. My philosophy is... who knows the real true long term affect... but if you will be a better mom to your daughter and be happier w/ being pregnant (because that will make you hormonally all over the place) than I feel it is worth taking zoloft. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I was on Wellbutrin when I was pregnant. I have never heard of it being hard to get pregnant on anti depressants! But I would not recommend getting off of them. My life is a lot easier being on them then being off!My daughter is 22 months and pretty advanced for her age, sop i would have to say it has not had an impact on her functioning or anything like that. She is VERY healthy also.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi M.-

This is such a controversial topic for mom's to be. I think it's really a personal choice and one you should make with the help of a supportive OBGYN and psychiatrist.

I have a long line of depression in my family and have suffered with it myself for many years. About 7 years ago I went on Antidepressants and along with excercise have found them to be a lifesaver - literally. I had no intentions of going off when we decided to start to concieve and had a very supportive OB and psychatrist that completely backed my choice. I had NO problem getting pregnant (went of the pill in the middle of the pack, had a period, ovulated and BAM! we were pregnant). Ava is now a happy, healthy 4 year old. I had no issues at all while pregnant with her and being on Celexa (I think I took 50mgs).

I'm now currently 8 months pregnant with #2 and on 37.5 mgs of Effexor (Celexa made me grind my teeth at night and clench so I switched) and though my OBGYN was hesitant of me being on Effexor (or anything for that matter) I had NO intentions of going off. I know how miserable I am without the help of antidepressants and not only am I miserable and dealing with myself - I have a family to consider and the effect of my behavior on them on a daily basis. When depressed I'm anxious, irritable, grouchy and just plain MISERABLE. My psychaitrist here is wonderful and told me several times that if my OBGYN wanted to speak to him directly to call him ASAP and he'd talk with her telling her the importance of my decision and the need of her support. After talking with her extensively regarding my family background and my struggle with depression she was very supportive.

Research is inconclusive on this whole topic but there is nothing out there proving that antidepressants are positively harmful. I have a close girlfriend who is a general practioner and we talk of the subject extensively - most doctors feel you must weigh the risks with the benefits. For some of us we cannot function without antidepressants, for some it's doable just miserable and others it's not a big deal to go off. I have several girlfriends who have had healthy babies and dream-like pregnancies and deliveries (one girlfriend on paxil for over 10 years, gained 15 lbs and pushed no more than 4 times with each of her children and walked out of the hospital with her pre-pregnancy jeans on!) and all have healthy beautiful children with no complications.

There are tons of woman who think they have to go off to become/be pregnant or are TOLD they have to but this is not your only choice!!! Do what you think is best for you and your family and be sure to have a solid support system either way!

Good luck with your decision - I wish you the best!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi M.-
I would talk to your doctor(s) and let them know your plans.
I was taking Zoloft when I became pregnant with my son. My doctor said it was fine to remain on the drug while my OB disagreed. I stopped cold turkey (which I do not recommend. However, my OB said that there were always options available should I have needed to go on something while pregnant.
Everyone's body is different and your mental health is just as important as your and the baby's physical health.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

Can you try cod-liver oil and b vitamins? I give myself methyl b-12 shots. Had alot of anxiety the past few months.
I would recommend going to a center for integrative medicine and telling them the problem.
Plus, I would be cautious of the safety of the anti-depressants to your baby while pregnant.

For the cod liver oil, try Carlson's cod liver oil from Whole Foods. 1 tbsp. twice a day.




answers from Chicago on

I have never heard of any SSRI antidepressant causing problems with fertility. But it is critical that you talk to a doctor about your desire to become pregnant while on antidepressants. Some antidepressants have been evaluated during pregnancy more than others. No matter how well a drug is evaluated, however, I would imagine that most Drs. would tell you that you need to weigh the risks with the benefits. I have a long history of depression and decided that I would not take my medication while I was pregnant. I suffered serious depression while pregnant and was under the care of an Ob/Gyn, psychotherapist, and primary care physician. They suggested several times that I restart my medication but I refused. When I delivered, my post-partum depression was so severe I needed to be hospitalized for a week until I was stable.

Depression is a serious illness. Because you are taking two SSRI antidepressants, I'm guessing that you are under the care of a psychiatrist and that you needed to do some experimenting to find the mix of drugs that worked for you. Talk to your doctors about your desire to become pregnant. It is NOT a good idea to stop taking your medication or switch to an alternative without discussing it first.

Some things I think you should consider:
Welbutrin is considered a Class B drug for pregnant women; Zoloft is a Class C. To give you a frame of reference, Tylenol is also a Class B drug. You might want to talk to your doctors about trying an alternative to Zoloft since it is considered riskier.

Are you taking high dosages? It might be possible to lower your dosages while pregnant and then restore them to normal a month or two before you deliver.

Some Drs. suggest going off your meds for the first trimester and then restarting. Obviously, it's possible to relapse while you're off the medication, but some Drs. think it's important to not be on meds during the initial development of the fetus.

I know that you want your baby to be safe, but remember that all medications could be risky to a developing baby. And for whatever reason, some people think that depression just goes on hold while your pregnant. It's not true. Depression is an illness. And for some people, it can only be effectively treated with medication. Your doctors can help you make an informed choice.



answers from Chicago on

I believe that I was still taking anti-depressants when I was trying to get pregnant over 4 years ago. I stopped once I was pregnant and then started taking prozac once it was safe. I think I kept taking that till I was done breastfeeding. Do you have a psychiatrist? Perhaps call the Womens clinic at UIC Dept. of Psychiatry or do some research on the net. I've never hears that being on anti-depressants makes it harder to get pregnant.
Good luck.


answers from San Diego on

You should definitely speak to a doctor about the risks to a child from these medications. Usually they will tell you that you need to go off of the medications while trying to get pregnant because of how long they take to get out of your system and that you should not take them during your pregnancy either. However, only a doctor can tell you the safest thing for you and your child...
Good Luck,

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