Can OTC Medicines Affect Your Fertility

What over-the counter medications can impact fertility–both for women and men? What non-prescription drugs should you avoid when in fertility treatment or pregnant? Host Dawn DavenportExecutive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility education and support nonprofit interviews Dr. Kathleen Tucker, an embryologist and reproductive physiologist with 25 years of experience.

Hit the Highlights
  • Research has found three reasons why the impact of OTC medication on fertility has become an increasing issue. Research indicates that we are taking more medications now that people in the past.  People are waiting longer to start a family and age is associated with greater medication use. Finally, people are experiencing more chronic disease at earlier ages. Taken together, these factors have increased the number of prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs being taken by women and men attempting to get pregnant with or without fertility treatment.
  • Impact on fertility: male and female
  • Impact when taken during treatment
  • Impact on pregnancy
  • Impact on the child if the mother took during pregnancy
  • As always, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding both prescription and non-prescription. Keep in mind that both men and women need to discuss their medications and how they may impact fertility with their healthcare provider.
  • NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a popular pain reliever:
    • Aspirin (brand names include Bayer, Bufferin, and Ecotrin, St. Joseph)
    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
    • Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox DS, Naprosyn)
    • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antacids-histamine blockers and proton pump inhibitors
  • Antihistamines B-both types
  • Skin creams/products
  • Herbal supplements

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth