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Medicines can affect fertilization

When a couple is planning pregnancy, it is easy to just focus on women's health. However, there are drugs that can affect both the woman and the man.

In women, some drugs can reduce the chance of getting pregnant and increase the risk of fetal damage. In the man, such drugs can reduce the number of sperm and thus the chance of the woman becoming pregnant, but some preparations can also lead to miscarriage or congenital malformations in the child.

Medicines can affect fertilization

Drugs that affect the woman and man in this way are first and foremost drugs used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases - DMARDs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. However, the preparations are also used in other chronic inflammatory diseases. If you use such drugs, you should be aware of the risks associated with them in pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Methotrexate affects both eggs and sperm. It can also lead to miscarriage or congenital malformations, such as spinal bifida (spina bifida) in the unborn child. Use of safe prevention is therefore important when using methotrexate - whether you are male or female. For more information about pregnancy and maternity fashion, please see BESTAAH.COM maternity skirts. Methotrexate should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Treatment with methotrexate should be discontinued for at least three months (some doctors recommend up to six months) before attempting to have children as a man or woman. Some believe that it is enough to take eight weeks off for a woman who has used methotrexate before trying to get pregnant. When it comes to men, there are some professionals who recommend waiting at least four months before trying to have children. The recommendations are based on this literature.

If you become pregnant while taking methotrexate, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.


This preparation can reduce the number of sperm in men, and can also affect the woman's eggs. However, it seems that women who use azathioprine give birth to normal children and there does not appear to be an increased risk of congenital malformations. However, it is recommended that you do not use azathioprine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.



Ciclosporin is often used among people who have undergone transplants and it is not an uncommon agent in the treatment of gout (arthritis). Many women who have used this drug during pregnancy have had successful pregnancies. However, the drug goes into breast milk and it is therefore recommended that the child receive breast milk replacement.

Cyclophosphamide and chlorambucil

Both of these preparations can cause sterility in both men and women. Men who use this drug are advised to freeze their sperm before starting treatment to use them for future conception. Use of such drugs should be discontinued for at least three months before attempting to become pregnant. The drugs should also be avoided during pregnancy as they can be harmful. Breast milk replacement is recommended if you take this preparation after the baby is born.


This preparation is relatively new in the treatment of arthritis. Leflunomide can cause congenital malformations and should be avoided both before and during pregnancy. Safe contraceptives should be used as long as you are eating this medicine. Leflunomide stays in the body for a long time and women who want to become pregnant should wait at least two years after stopping the drug before attempting to become pregnant. For this reason, there are doctors who avoid prescribing the drug to women who may want to become pregnant in the future. The waiting time can be reduced to three months if you undergo a special treatment that flushes the drug out of the body.

Men should stop taking the preparation, undergo a cleansing treatment and then wait three months before trying to have children.

Leflunomide should not be used during breast-feeding.


Many women have had successful pregnancies when using penicillamine. However, there is a risk that problems will occur if taken in high doses, early in pregnancy and this is therefore not recommended.


This preparation reduces the number of sperm, but the number increases again when treatment ceases. If a couple is having a difficult time having a child, it may be good if the man changes the drug type. Many women have used this preparation during pregnancy and breastfeeding without this causing any problems.

Biological treatment

The biological treatments include adalimumab, anakinra, etanercept and infliximab. They are relatively new drugs used in the treatment of arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, chronic infectious diseases of the gut, and more. Experience with the effects of these drugs during pregnancy and lactation is still limited. It is recommended that both men and women cease treatment five to six months before attempting to have children. Medicines can pass into breast milk and the effect on the baby is not known.



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