Fertility is a tricky business. Some people seem to have all of it, while others don't, with no real rhyme or reason for who has it and who struggles with it. So when it comes to fertility, you start thinking about any and all of the things that could impact it. If you take prescription medications, you might wonder how they will affect your fertility in the short and long term. So, does Xanax affect fertility? Turns out, as with most pregnancy-related questions, you should definitely check with your doctor.
According to Drugs.com, Xanax is a benzodiazepine that affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It's used to treat not only anxiety and panic disorders, but also anxiety caused by depression. Nearly 50 million prescriptions of Xanax, as well as its sister drugs, are written every year, according to the same site.
While most online and reputable sources do not explicitly say that Xanax can affect fertility, it certainly doesn't mean any and every trying to conceive (TTC) individual and/or couple shouldn't take the time to ask their health care provider for their recommendation. Especially since there are certain concerns related to Xanax and pregnancy.
In fact, it's worth nothing that Drugs.com has the following warning about Xanax and pregnancy:
"This medicine can cause birth defects. Your baby could also become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking Xanax."
Healthline.com also warns heavily against taking Xanax during pregnancy, saying: "Xanax is not safe to take during pregnancy. It’s a pregnancy category D drug. That means it can harm your pregnancy." So if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, your doctor might be able to recommend a different drug that can help temporarily reduce your anxiety or panic attacks, such as Lexapro or Prozac.
After giving birth, unfortunately, Xanax might still not be safe for your baby. Breastfeeding while taking Xanax means that your baby will ingest doses of the medication as well. MomJunction.com explains, "Even though the ingested dosages are not lethal, they can cause respiratory issues and sedation in babies." Babies can also suffer from weight loss and feeding problems if they are ingesting medications such as Xanax, which provides enough reasons to ask your doctor for an alternative medication if you are hoping to breastfeed your baby and struggle with anxiety and/or panic disorder.
So even though there is not much explicit information about Xanax and fertility, based on the effects it has on babies in utero and while lactating, you should definitely talk to your health care provider about the risks. Additionally, many women who wonder about this same question turn to online fertility forums and the overarching advice seems to be discontinue use of Xanax or find an alternative before trying to conceive.