Male Infertility

I stumbled upon this website in a desperate attempt to link my husbands medication to his fertility problems.
He is taking Tegretol Retard and we have just been told that he has a very low sperm count with only some movement but all the sperm are abnormally shaped. Has anyone had any experience of trying to conceive whilst taking this medication?
Thank you for your help.


Re: Male Infertility


I'm just wondering if any of you have had success since these original posts were made?  My husband is on carbatrol (tegretol) 1200 mg per day and lamotrigine 300 mg per day.  We have been trying to conceive for a year.  We had another child before his epilepsy so I am wondering if the medication is causing a problem. 

Also, does anyone know which anti-seizure meds do not affect male fertility?  I saw lamotrogine is one but my husband just uses that as a secondary med.  I think he would consider changing meds because his current combination is not working that well.  He's had more seizures than usual this year.

Re: Male Infertility

My husband is on Tegretol Retard and Keppra.Previous to Tegretol he was on Phenytoin. He has erectil disfunction due to his medication and he was just been recommended to see a specialist in male fertility (andrologyst,i think). Unfoutunatly the AED does causes infertility and low sperm count. :( I got that information in this website.

For how long is your husband in this medication and what is his dose?
Mine is on keppra 1500mg/bd and tegretol retard 600mg/bd.

Smile :)

Re: Re: Male Infertility

Hi there, thanks for your reply.

He has been on Tegretol for about 6 years, I'm not sure what dosage he started on but now he is only on 300mg. The urologist has said he thinks it could be the medication and from the research I've done on the internet it definitely is this. He will try and speak to his Neurologist this week to see if there is an alternative medication he can switch to.

Re: Male Infertility

We have also just been diagnosed with male factor infertility. My husband is on tegretol-XR (1000mg per day) and he was told he has low sperm count and low motility.

We know have to figre what will be best. I hope that this can be improved somehow

Re: Male Infertility

Sometimes it's necessary to try many different options.  It's good you are seeing your doctor and not relying on just hearsay about what to do.  Sometimes it's frustrating and challenging going through a multitude of tests, but realize it's necessary.  I was desperate to have a child so I read as many resources as possible(there are tons online, but that doesn't mean they should all be trusted.)  The American Pregnancy Association is a trusted site.  BabyMed has a good infertility resource page as well.  Keep doing your homework and keep trying and you will succeed!

Re: Re: Male Infertility

My husband spoke to his neurologist the other day and was informed that he'd never heard of Tegretol having that kind of effect and he higly doubts that would be the problem. I was so sure it was because I've read so much stuff on the internet. We now have to be referred to a fertility specialist who will hopefully know more but it looks like we will need ICSI.

Re: Re: Re: Male Infertility

Hi, Keb.
It seems that we are in same boat.
I have an appointment with my GP next week so he can refer me(and my hubby) to a fertility specialist.

I would suggest that next time your husband sees his neurologist to take with him the print out of the webpages where is all this information that says that Tegretol CAN cause infertility/fertility problem.I did that when me and my husband went to see his neuro(we always go together to his appointments)just in case he says that "he had never heard about it". Luckly his neuro was aware that that could be the problem so we didn't have to explain more.

If you don't mind i would like to keep in touch with you and know how is everything going with you guys regarding the fertility treatment,etc.Who knows, we might help each other. If you would like to keep in touch with me please email me to and write under subject KEB1 so i know it's you and not any junk

Take care
Smile :)

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Your husdands doctor did not suggest maybe trying another medication for you husband before you take the fertility specialist route. Is there any chance his sperm count can improve for has the medication permanently damaged husbands fertility

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From what I've read, all effects can be reversed if you switch meds. I think this is something we will have to do but my dh is worried about the effects of changing meds because he has been fine on this one.

Anie I just emailed you :-)

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Its a tough situation. Fertility treatments can be so expensive. We have decided to try Fertility blend for a couple on months in hopes that is able to help combat the effects of Tegretol on his sperm count. If that does not work, he is going to speak with his neurologist about switching his meds.

I hope that the Fertility Blend works, because like your husband, my husband responds so well to Tegretol and has been seizure free for almost 2 years.

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Hello ladies.

KEB1 - Thanks for the email. I shall reply to you asap.

SweetSag: It's great news that your housband is fit free for almost 2 years (touch wood!) :)

When my husband was on Phenytoin (for over 20years) + Keppra (last 3years,i think) he used to have fit every 6month which was very good because he prior to that he was having 1 every month. But then the started to having side effects of Phenytoin (drowziness,dizziness,double vision).The phenytoin level on his blood was going up and down so the doctor swiched to Tegretol Retard.

At the moment he is still in phase to adjust of right dose of Tegretol Retard.

Right now he is on Keppra 1500mg/bd + Tegretol Retard 600mg/am-800mg/pm.

Smile :)

PS: Phenytoin is also bad for male fertiliy so in my husband case (maybe) the damage is done. :(

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Hi there - I've been reading all these comments with interest as my wife and I are in a similar situation.

My epilepsy is the result of an AVM in my brain and I didn't suffer seizures until after our first baby was born. I am currently on Tegretol Retard 1400mg/day and I've been seizure free for about a year now.

We've actually conceived twice (first one miscarried) both times in the first month of trying. We've been trying for another child for at least 18 months now with no success. A recent sperm count showed a very high abnormality rate (less than 3% normal shape) and motility wasn't great but within acceptable limits - all other measures normal. From this our GP concluded it was very unlikely we would ever be able to conceive.

We took this information to a meeting with epilepsy specialist nurse who dismissed the notion of tegretol inducing male fertility problems. Armed with nothing other than our own evidence we felt there was little we could do to push things further. Having read the stories on this forum I think we certainly have more to back up our fears that it is the AEDs that are possibly causing the low sperm count.

If anybody has some links to other cases or case studies about this then I would be most grateful to have them.


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Hi James (and everyone else too)

I posted the same question on a UK forum and quite a few people responded with links to websites which shows that tegretol definitely has an effect. I also typed "Tegretol and fertility problems" in to Google and it came up with loads of stuff. I printed a lot of it out to show my husband and we are convinced that is the problem. We just have to try and convince his neuro.

Hope that helps

Kate x

Hi there. I was going to

Hi there.

I was going to give you some weblinks but then i saw that keb1 has already done fact if you check her link you will see my post in there as well.

Just want to add this link.
Please have a look.

How AEDs cause hormonal changes:

Studies show that AEDs directly affect brain regions that mediate sexuality.
AEDs may cause sexual dysfunction by inducing secondary effects on reproductive hormones.
Some AEDs change the concentrations of sex steroid hormones.
Do all AEDs have the same effect on hormones?

No. Some, but not all, AEDs have been linked to adverse hormonal effects.

Research suggests that the AEDs phenytoin, carbamazepine and phenobarbital adversely affect hormone levels by reducing the level of free testosterone which, in turn, reduces sexual desire.
Some good news regarding AEDs and hormonal effects does exist: Studies show that the AED lamotrigine may not have a negative impact on sexual function. In fact, in one study, lamotrigine was shown to have a favorable effect on sexual disorders in MWE who had partial seizures and were taking other AEDs.

take care.

Smile :)