Urinary selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors across critical windows of pregnancy establishment: a prospective cohort study of fecundability and pregnancy loss

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Authors:

Lindsey A. Sjaarda, Ph.D., Jeannie G. Radoc, B.S., Kerry S. Flannagan, Ph.D., Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., Keewan Kim, Ph.D., Neil J. Perkins, Ph.D., Robert M. Silver, M.D., Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To prospectively investigate the association of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) exposure through critical windows of pregnancy establishment with fecundability and pregnancy loss.


Design

Prospective cohort study using longitudinal urine measurements of common SSRIs while women are actively trying to conceive.


Setting

Four clinical sites.


Patient(s)

A total of 1,228 women without uncontrolled depression/anxiety, attempting natural conception while participating in a randomized trial of preconception-initiated low-dose aspirin.


Interventions(s)

Not applicable.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

Urinary SSRIs (fluoxetine, sertraline, escitalopram/citalopram) were measured while trying to conceive and, for women who became pregnant, at weeks 0, 4, and 8 of pregnancy. Fecundability odds ratios and incidence of pregnancy loss and live birth were estimated.


Result(s)

A total of 172 women (14%) were exposed to SSRIs while trying to conceive. SSRI exposure was associated with 24% reduced fecundability, and accordingly, a nonsignificant 9% lower live birth incidence, with significantly lower live birth in fluoxetine-exposed women. SSRI exposure was not associated with subsequent pregnancy loss, whether exposure was before conception or at 0, 4, or 8 weeks of gestation, although estimates varied by specific SSRI drug.


Conclusion(s)

Women using SSRIs may have more difficulty becoming pregnant, and although SSRI exposure overall was not associated with pregnancy loss, fluoxetine deserves caution and future study.


Clinical Trial Registration Number

NCT00467363

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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