The Antidepressant Myth

Myth: Antidepressant use by fathers affects the birth outcome of the child.

Truth: This is false.

A lot of research has been done to study the effects of women using antidepressants during pregnancy on their children. There has not been much research on the usage of antidepressants by men during conception and how it affects the child.

Previous research has found that antidepressants can destroy sperm, reduce sperm concentrations or movement, alter the sperm’s physical structure, and increase its DNA damage. A study examined the link between antidepressant use by fathers and the birth outcomes of their children. Birth outcomes specifically include preterm birth, malformations, autism disorder, and intellectual disabilities. The results of the study were published in The BMJ.

Fathers taking antidepressants during the time of conception were included, as well as those who started taking antidepressants during the pregnancy and those who did not take antidepressants at all. As a result, the researchers found no relationship between antidepressant use and the birth outcome of the child. Read more about this study here. 


  1. Viktorin, A., Levine, S. Z., Altemus, M., Reichenberg, A., & Sandin, S. (2018). Paternal use of antidepressants and offspring outcomes in Sweden: Nationwide prospective cohort study. BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2233


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