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Pregnancy after antibiotics - should we wait or not? 
18th-Jan-2014 02:45 am [fetal development, medications, ttc]
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Hi! My husband and I are planning our first pregnancy. Both of us took antibiotics (doxycycline) for 10 days in the end of december. We used condoms that cycle, because this medication was not compatible with pregnancy. My doctor says that we can already start TTC - by the time I ovulate our bodies will be free of antibiotics for about 28-30 days.

But I heard that many other doctors suggest waiting for 72 days/2-3 cycles before trying! They say that a woman's body is free of any toxic elements after menstruation, but a man's sperm is 'renewing' very slowly and is currently defecive, and a couple should wait and use contraception, or the future baby has high chances of being born with different genetic abnormalities. :-(

Is this correct?! Did your husband/partner wait for 70+ days after taking antibiotics? Or can we TTC already?
Comments 
17th-Jan-2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
I don't know about when the male uses it, but when I went through IVF, it was standard at my clinic for the woman to use doxycycline just prior to a transfer. I would think that if it's safe for me to use it, it's safe for the man.
18th-Jan-2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention the same thing about IVF. Where we went, it was standard for both partners to take doxycycline as part of the cycle/treatment.
19th-Jan-2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
Interesting, I didn't know that. Do they take it once or for a long period of time before the IVF?


I'm kinda scared though...
'The long-term effect of these antibiotics on male reproductive tract development has not been fully elucidated. But the treatment of male mice with doxycycline led to long-lasting effects on reproductive organs and spermatozoa in adult males'.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23384891

Edited at 2014-01-19 04:53 pm (UTC)
19th-Jan-2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
From what I'm reading, this was done on mice. I'd only start to get worried if they had several studies supporting this one and there was a clear concern for humans. A single study could have loads of problems that we, the layperson, know nothing about. Consensus is the name of the game.

I wouldn't stress about it.
19th-Jan-2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, on mice. But still :(

Adverse effects on fertility and reproductive performance were observed in both male and female Sprague-Dawley rats given oral doxycyline hyclate. These effects included increased time required for mating to occur, reduced sperm motility, velocity, and concentration, abnormal sperm morphology, and increased preimplantation and postimplantation losses. A range of doses of doxycycline hyclate was studied; the lowest dose tested was 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg/day). All doses studied resulted in reproductive toxicity, including the lowest dose, which resulted in a significant reduction in sperm velocity. The 50 mg/kg/day dose is approximately ten times the recommended daily dose of doxycycline, when used as an enzyme inhibitor, for a 60-kg human. The effect of doxycycline hyclate on human fertility is not known. http://www.drugs.com/mmx/doxycycline-hyclate.html
20th-Jan-2014 03:30 am (UTC)
As I said it's a single study on mice. Without a consensus it doesn't mean anything. Reading other comments it appears to be a common drug. If it potentially was going to cause birth defects this would very likely be known. I'm the kind of person ego finds a doctor I trust and runs these things by them.

I'm going to say go ahead and TTC but it sounds like you'd prefer to wait. It's ultimately your call.
20th-Jan-2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, I remembered after my initial reply that my husband also went on doxy prior to our retrievals (we were both on it for about 10 days or something). The second time, his sperm was just as good, and we went on to have healthy twins with no birth defects. And I'm currently pregnant with #3 which was all natural- so my fertility has gotten better, if anything.
19th-Jan-2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
I think my husband had to take it for 10 days before the egg retrieval/fertilization day. (I'm allergic to doxycycline, so I took a different antibiotic.)

That study mentions that doxycycline is commonly used to treat acne during puberty in humans, and it sounds like that study was conducted on male mice during puberty to see how it would affect them later as adults. If your husband only took doxycycline as an adult and not during puberty, then the findings of that study may not apply to him.
19th-Jan-2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Still I can't help but worry about doing something bad for my future baby :(

Adverse effects on fertility and reproductive performance were observed in both male and female Sprague-Dawley rats given oral doxycyline hyclate. These effects included increased time required for mating to occur, reduced sperm motility, velocity, and concentration, abnormal sperm morphology, and increased preimplantation and postimplantation losses. A range of doses of doxycycline hyclate was studied; the lowest dose tested was 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg/day). All doses studied resulted in reproductive toxicity, including the lowest dose, which resulted in a significant reduction in sperm velocity. The 50 mg/kg/day dose is approximately ten times the recommended daily dose of doxycycline, when used as an enzyme inhibitor, for a 60-kg human. The effect of doxycycline hyclate on human fertility is not known. http://www.drugs.com/mmx/doxycycline-hyclate.html
19th-Jan-2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
If you're worried and your gut is telling you to wait, then just wait 2-3 cycles and then move forward with TTC. Most likely, waiting 2-3 cycles won't be too much of a setback anyway. Use that time to start taking a prenatal vitamin, if you're not already, and do anything else you'd want to do before getting pregnant--improve your diet, lose a few pounds, whatever applies to you.

ETA: For what it's worth, my IVF twins are three months old now and they are perfectly healthy.

Edited at 2014-01-19 06:51 pm (UTC)
18th-Jan-2014 12:23 am (UTC)
I'd go with my doctor. If I wasn't sure I'd ask another doctor. That's my take anyway :)
18th-Jan-2014 01:20 am (UTC)
That recommendation you heard from other sources probably stems from the fact that spermatogenesis takes 74 days (fact. If it matters any/if the antibiotic has dna changing ability... I doubt it). On the other hand, it seems there have been studies where infertile couples were treated with doxy to find out if treatment improves fertilization rates (in patients with male accessory gland infection) - results seem to have been inconclusive as both groups showed similar rates of success/failure, but it dies not sound as if doxy was contraindicated prior to ttc.

I'm not sure if there is specific research about the effect of doxy on sperm /dna. To say that the sperm must be defective sounds a bit harsh, I doubt that it is that bad. I would ask your doctor about what you heard/read, he might have an explanation for you and why his recommendation is different.

From class I only remember that this medication was dangerous to the fetus when taken during pregnancy and tooth development, because of tooth discolouration.

I never heard anything about damage from the parents having been treated prior to pregnancy. Wikipedia says "Tetracyclines are teratogens due to the likelihood of causing teeth discolouration in the fetus as they develop in infancy. For this same reason, tetracyclines are contraindicated for use in children under 8 years of age. They are, however, safe to use in the first 18 weeks of pregnancy."
I would probably go and ttc right away, that 70 day recommendation sounds like a cover-your-ass-against-all-possibilities.

Edited at 2014-01-18 08:39 am (UTC)
18th-Jan-2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
^this. I can't imagine a reason why you wouldn't want to TTC. Doxy isn't a long acting teratogen, it's just a concern for tooth discoloration. It's not like Accutane.

19th-Jan-2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
I'm kinda scared though...
'The long-term effect of these antibiotics on male reproductive tract development has not been fully elucidated. But the treatment of male mice with doxycycline led to long-lasting effects on reproductive organs and spermatozoa in adult males'.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23384891
19th-Jan-2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
Well, then wait your 70 days or whatever. I can only tell you what my comfort level would be. My husband took doxy right before our IVF cycle and my son only has two heads, no biggie.
19th-Jan-2014 05:59 pm (UTC)
thanks :)
did you have any serious concerns during pregnancy?
18th-Jan-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
I have never heard of this ever. I don't remember if my husband or I were on antibiotics before ttc, but if we were it wouldn't have stopped us.
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