Do Antibiotics Affect IVF Treatment?

Do antibiotics affter IVF treatment

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When you’re ready to start a family through IVF, you will want to do everything possible to increase your chances of success. Your age, weight, and whether or not you drink or smoke can all have an impact on your fertility.

Antibiotics are also one of the factors that impact your fertility and chances of success during IVF. Some medications you take may also reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Depending on your situation, antibiotics might either assist or harm your fertility.

So, do antibiotics improve fertility? Continue reading to learn more about antibiotics and their role in female fertility.

Do Antibiotics Improve Fertility?

There is currently proof that antibiotics have an effect on a man’s and woman’s fertility. According to some studies, antibiotics have no negative effects on the hormones that control the menstrual cycle, ovulation, or conception and hence are not a cause of infertility.

Antibiotics, on the other hand, can assist women in getting pregnant because of their capacity to treat infections (infections that can interfere with pregnancy). Among them, bacterial infections are one of the most common causes of male and female infertility.

These bacteria can damage the reproductive organs like the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries in women and the function of the male reproductive tract. Antibiotic medication can help strengthen the reproductive system weakened by bacterial infections, boosting fertility and the ability to conceive

Do Antibiotics Make It Harder to Get Pregnant?

As seen above, antibiotics do have the ability to improve fertility in both men and women. However, there are some antibiotics that can affect male fertility like

These antibiotics can affect sperm production in men and also semen quality if taken for a longer period. These sperm may be low in count and have minimal ability to swim in the semen.

Couples do not need to be concerned about the possibility of infertility due to antibiotics. Their effects start to decrease after 3 months of not taking them. So as long as couples stop using them when planning to get pregnant, the chances of getting pregnant through IVF are high.

Benefits of antibiotics during IVF

IVF treatments carry the risk of infection for both male and female partners. For men, they have a high chance of contracting infections at the site of sperm retrieval. And women have a high chance of getting infections during minimally invasive procedures like egg retrieval and embryo transfer that could cause pelvic infections.

Although women with a history of PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases) and/or adnexal adhesions are at a higher risk of infections during egg retrieval, the transfer of an embryo to the uterus is significantly more likely to induce infection. This can cause intrauterine infection and affect pregnancy or delivery.

In such cases, antibiotic therapy is encouraged for couples to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. You might have to discuss this in detail with your fertility doctor regarding antibiotics during IVF treatments.

Can Antibiotics Make Birth Control Less Effective?

A few antibiotics may cause issues for women who do not wish to become pregnant. Rifabutin (Mycobutin) and rifampicin (Rifadin), antibiotics that are prescribed to treat meningitis and tuberculosis, can interact with birth control pills and make them less effective.

The majority of alternative antibiotics will not cause this side effect. If you must take Rifadin or Mycobutin, consult your doctor about whether you should use condoms or another form of birth control to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

Is it Okay to Take Antibiotics Before Getting Pregnant?

Taking antibiotics while trying to get pregnant is unlikely to have any effect. In some cases, women taking antibiotics have reported abnormalities in their ovulation cycles, particularly in the formation of cervical mucus. However, there is no conclusive data to back up the claim.

In fact, the woman’s infection may be the major cause of temporary infertility than the medications. Taking antibiotics, on the other hand, may help them get pregnant by efficiently treating the infection, which may be a potential barrier to pregnancy.

Risks of Taking Antibiotics While Pregnant

Certain antibiotics and cold medications may be risky if a woman becomes pregnant and is unaware of it. Antibiotics such as clindamycin and cephalosporins are generally regarded safe during pregnancy, while other antibiotics can be harmful to the woman’s and the baby’s health.

Taking strong antibiotics during pregnancy might cause developmental problems in the fetus or result in miscarriage. As a result, it is advisable to be certain about your pregnancy in case you get an infection and need antibiotic treatment to avoid future issues.

Antibiotics and Miscarriage Risk

Some studies that worked on the relationships between antibiotics and miscarriages have noted that the use of antibiotics can increase the chances of miscarriage. Some antibiotics with the highest chances of causing miscarriage are

There is no concrete evidence that antibiotics can induce miscarriage. While some studies show that antibiotics cause miscarriage, others don’t. Furthermore, the scientists couldn’t identify whether the miscarriages were caused by the medications or the diseases that the drugs were treating.


If you are attempting to get pregnant or are already pregnant, consult your doctor before taking any new medications, including over-the-counter ones. If a medication you require interferes with your fertility or pregnancy, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative.


Most of the steps in the IVF procedure are based on good evidence, but one step, prophylactic antibiotic administration, is done often but has not been shown to help. This started happening in 1978 as a way to keep germs from getting on the end of the catheter that was used to put embryos in the uterus.

Some of the medicines you take could affect your chances of getting pregnant. Depending on your situation, antibiotics can help or affect your fertility. Before you try to get pregnant, check your medicine cabinet and talk to your doctor about any antibiotics or other medicines you take.

Some studies that worked on the relationships between antibiotics and miscarriages have noted that the use of antibiotics can increase the chances of miscarriage. Some antibiotics with the highest chances of causing miscarriage are

azithromycin (Zithromax),
Sulfonamides, and

Dr. Geetha Haripriya
Dr. Geetha Haripriya

Dr. Geetha Haripriya is a renowned Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, specializing in reproductive medicine and laparoscopic surgery. With over 27,000 IVF deliveries and numerous successful procedures, she holds a prominent position as Chairperson at Prashanth Multispeciality Hospital and Medical Director at Prashanth Fertility Research Centre in Chennai.

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