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Male Depression May Cause Infertility




As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives. While depression can take a heavy toll on your home and work life, you don’t have to tough it out. There are plenty of things you can start doing today to feel better.


Depression in men is a treatable health condition, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity. It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life.

However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can interfere with your productivity at work or school and impact your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life. Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.

A study published Thursday in the journal Fertility and Sterility showed that among couples receiving infertility treatment, depression in the male partner was linked to lower pregnancy chances.

The study 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, but 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 the study’s author Esther Eisenberg, at the Fertility and Infertility Branch at National Institute of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which funded the study.

The study found that women using non-SSRIs were roughly 3.5 times as likely to have a first-trimester pregnancy loss, compared with those not using antidepressants.

The study also found out that couples in which the male partner had a major depression were 60 percent less likely to conceive and have a live birth than those in which the male partner did not have a major depression.



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