I'm am 29 years old and my husband is 28. I have had two blighted ova in the last year and we have been searching for possible causes. My hormones appear to be fine, so they said we most likely have a DNA issue. Here is a brief history of my husband's background:
To treat an anxiety problem, he was on antidepressants (Lexapro and then Effexor for the last year) plus a daily dose of Klonopin for five years (.25 mg), between the ages of 22 and 27. We read a lot about the negative effects of antidepressants on sperm, so he tapered off the medication (under his doctor's supervision). We gave it a few months before trying to conceive. Studies say that effects of antidepressants on sperm are reversible after about three months time. However, we got one blighted ovum almost 3 months after coming off the meds, and another one 8 months after coming off the meds. So, I don't think it was the antidepressants causing the blighted ova.
Instead, I think the Klonopin (clonazepam) might be the issue. Very few studies on long-term use of clonazepam and sperm have been done, but I've seen some discouraging studies on other medications in the benzodiazepine family, such as nitrazepam. This substance has been linked with testicular damage and DNA damage in the germ cells. This DNA damage is linked to blighted ova because it is associated with day 3 arrest of the blastocyst, which means it can implant but the embryo will never develop. My question is three-fold:
1) Do you feel that the long-term clonazepam use could have impacted my husband's fertility permanently?
2) Would you recommend an SCSA (sperm dna fragmentation test) before we continue trying to conceive?
3) Why aren't fertility studies on these medications thoroughly performed before they are prescribed to young men and women so that recipients can be aware of the potential consequences?
We have tried to start a discussion with our doctors about this (including the doctor who prescribed the antidepressants and klonopin), but none of them are aware of any connection between sperm problems and these medications. I don't know how this is possible; it should be common knowledge in the community.
My husband is off the antidepressants but is still taking .25mg of Klonopin twice a week to ward off anxiety issues. We're going to see if he can refrain from taking them for a full three months to allow the sperm to completely refresh.
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