Meds & Conception
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Q:  Meds & Conception

About 4 years ago i was diagnosed with bi-polar II, I also have anxiety..... I have been on high doses of lots of differant types medications for this including ativan,paxil, efexor, celexa, depakote, depakote xr, trazadone, trilipital, seraquil, etc... i am now wanting to get pregnant, an i have yet to get pregnant... do medications have any effect on conceaving?  I stopped my meds apx. 3 months ago because i havent gotten pregnant yet.... my husband an i have been trying for about a year now.  i am now getting ready to see about having dr. help.  well being checked for problems.  i was now sure if the meds. would have any effect on this. do they? an if yes what can i do?

Dear Ms. T' -- 
Usually it's a good idea to plan a pregnancy working with the doctor who's treating your bipolar disorder.  As you may have learned, the medications are not known to interfere with conception.  Usually we worry about it the other way around:  somebody getting pregnant while taking the medications, because as you've probably also learned, the medications can cause abnormalities in the fetus -- not very often, but we know it can happen.  So for sure you don't want to get pregnant without a game plan on how the medications will be managed during and after pregnancy.   If you really needed those med's in the past there's a pretty good chance you're going to need them soon; being pregnant while having a bunch of your old symptoms would not be good for you, and probably not good for your developing child either.  

One more thought:  some of the medications you've named have been associated with developing something called "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" which can interfere with getting pregnant but can be pretty easily treated.  Here are some basics about PCOS that include links to more information.  That may not be at all involved but just in case it was, you'd want to know about it.  Good luck with all that.  I hope you have a prescribing doc' who can work closely with you on this!  

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2003


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