Questions To Ask OBGYN When Taking Psychiatric Medications

Taking psychiatric medications is necessary for many women of childbearing age. Before women are ready to start a family the only thing they had to worry about with their medications was making sure they were taken as prescribed. But when the decision is made to have a baby or if women find out they are already pregnant, that all changes. They are sure to have questions as to the safety of their current medications on both their babies and themselves.

As such, taking a moment to write down questions to ask an OBGYN regarding taking psychiatric medications is necessary to know both the risks and benefits of continuing medication.

While it may be jotted down in the medical record that women take psychiatric medications, that does not mean that a candid conversation has been had with OBGYNs regarding how the medications affect reproductive health. In some instances, there is no reason to worry about what is being taken. Fertility nor pregnancies are any worse for wear when taken. But the opposite could also be true.

And that is why knowing the pros and cons of medications is necessary to weigh what the best options are when it comes to taking psychiatric medications and starting a family.

RELATED: Safety Tips When Taking Anxiety Medication While Pregnant

Here are questions you should ask your OBGYN if you take psychiatric medications.


10 Is It More Difficult To Get Pregnant When On Medications?

Before trying to get pregnant, women may want to have a conversation with their OBGYNs about whether conception will be more difficult when taking their psychiatric medications. This way, if it does take some time, the culprit is known and steps can be taken to address fertility issues.

According to Modern Fertilityit is a mixed bag when it comes to how medications treat individuals. As such, the best approach is to speak with an OBGYN to know for certain if conception may be an issue with a current medication when attempting to get pregnant.

9 What Are The Risks To Baby If Continuing Current Medication?

For those who are already pregnant, the question is not whether the medication causes problems with fertility. The question becomes what the risks are to babies if the medication is continued during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer when it comes to what the risks are to babies if current medications are continued during pregnancy.

According to American Family Physician, There are psychiatric medications that are taken that do not cause any problems, those which are known to cause birth defects, and others where there is not enough information to make a determination.

With that in mind, each conversation with an OBGYN will be individualized, taking into consideration the risks to both mothers-to-be and their unborn babies.

8 What Will Happen If I Stop Taking My Medication?

It may seem like an easy option just to stop the medication when wanting to get pregnant or are already pregnant. After all, it may have been a long time since experiencing symptoms of the condition the meds are being taken for. But in most instances, stopping cold turkey is not something that will turn out well for those expecting or their babies.

According to a 2014 study, most women and their doctors made the decision to Reduce the dosage or change medications when women found out they were pregnant. Completely going off medication for some women is just not possible.

Therefore, if considering going off medications when pregnant, speak with an OBGYN first. This way, an educated decision can be made rather than a knee-jerk one which will keep everyone healthier in the process.

7 Are There Any Side Effects With The Medications Being Taken?

While the biggest question usually jumped to is whether there are any side effects for babies when taking psychiatric medications when pregnant, women should also ask whether they will experience any side effects. After all, with hormones changing and weight shifting, there may need to be adjustments made to medications. Something women should be aware of before dealing with an unknown side effect during pregnancy.

6 Are There Safer Alternatives To Take While Pregnant?

While medication may be working well when not trying to conceive or when pregnant, it may not be the best option when expanding the family. As such, asking about safer alternatives is a good question to ask OBGYNs.

In some instances, there may be alternatives to take to the current medication. The side effects as well as the pros and cons will need to be weighed before changing medication. But that is why the expert advice of OBGYNs is sought before making any rash decisions without having all the information first.

5 Will My Moods Change When Pregnant Even If On Medication?

Women’s moods change constantly during pregnancy. For those on medication, it is Important to know if there is any information about how the change in hormones affects mood when pregnant. This allows those expecting to have a heads-up about what to expect.

And if the swings become too much, having a plan in place about what to do takes a great deal of stress out of the situation.

4 Will Medication Make Me More Prone For Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is the most common pregnancy complication women face. As such, knowing if women on medications are prime candidates for it will help them to keep an eye out for changes in mood and thoughts after delivery. After all, the sooner it is caught, the sooner it can be treated. And the healthier moms and babies can be as a result.

3 Is There A Higher Risk Of Miscarriage Taking Medication During Pregnancy?

As with most of the conversations that involve psychiatric medications, the risks of miscarriage will vary based on the condition women are being treated for and the medication they are taking.

Therefore, Women and their doctors will need to speak about the pros and cons of the medication being taken and the rates of miscarriage associated with said medication. Then, and only then can an informed decision be made as to what the best choice is when it comes to continuing the mediation or not during pregnancy.

2 Are Babies At A Higher Risk Of Developing A Mental Disorder When Meds Are Taken?

The debate has been going back and forth for years about whether babies are at a higher risk of developing mental disorders such as ADHD or autism as a result of mothers taking psychiatric medications during pregnancy.

This is a discussion to have with perhaps not only the OBGYN but the doctor prescribing the medication as well. This will allow for the most updated studies to know where researchers are currently standing when it comes to long-term effects on children’s health and how they are affected by being exposed to psychiatric meds in utero.

1 What Are Non-Medication Therapies That Can Be Done During Pregnancy?

Some women may be able to go off their medications when trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant. But, there need to be therapies made available if the condition being treated with medication begins to show.

As such, finding out what is available either through OBGYNs or treating physicians is something that should be done BEFORE medications are stopped so that there is an alternative in place to be used if necessary.

Source: Modern Fertility, American Family Physician, ScienceDirect

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