For a study, researchers tried to investigate the link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use and sperm quality.
They conducted a retrospective examination of all men with a semen analysis (SA) for fertility evaluation at a single academic medical facility from 2002 to 2020. Men were prohibited from participating if they had previously been selectively exposed to spermatotoxic drugs, clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins. estrogen receptor modulators, or medical disorders that are known to impair male fertility. An outpatient prescription within 90 days of any sperm test was used to determine SSRI exposure. Wilcoxon continuous variable variables and chi-square tests for proportions were used to analyze differences between men who had and did not have SSRI exposure. To investigate the relationship between SSRI use and individual semen parameters, univariate and multivariate linear regression models were appropriate, adjusted for age at the time of semen study and non-SSRI drug use.
A total of 8,861 men were identified, with 153 (1.7%) previously exposed to SSRIs. The median age was 35 years (interquartile range: 32-39), and it was comparable between groups (P= .999). Men on SSRIs were much more likely to use non-SSRI medications (78.4% vs. 23.3%, <.001). SSRI exposure was not associated with changes in semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, total motile sperm count, or normal morphology in unchanged or multivariate models.
SSRI exposure was not related to altered sperm parameters in adult men who underwent fertility assessment. The findings may help with reproductive counseling and medical decision-making about the use of SSRIs in men seeking paternity.