Do antibiotics affect IVF treatment?

Having an illness whether it is an infectious viral illness or any other illness has a potential to affect the outcome of a fertility treatment.

There is evidence that certain antibiotics including tetracyclines, doxycycline, cotrimoxazole, antifungal pills or chloroquine can affect the sperm parameters that lead to low sperm count, low mortality, low morphology or the viability of the sperms.

So there is evidence that some of the antibiotics can affect the process of spermiogenesis. However, it is important to remember that not all antibiotics affect the sperm concentration.

The evidence in women is slightly less robust. When women are sick, this can lead to an inflammatory stress response and as a result, this can affect the stimulation response to the injections, or it may affect the implantation potential of the embryo. Again at this point, I do want to emphasise that the evidence is not as robust.

So if you are going to be prescribed any antibiotics, then it is important that you let your doctor know that you are going through are fertility treatment. So that your doctor can choose safer antibiotics that may not affect the treatment. If you’re still concerned, it may be worthwhile to speak to your fertility specialist.