If you are unfamiliar with my blog, my husband and I have decided to start the IVF process in August (retrieval in September and transfer in October). This morning I had a long conversation with my doctor and we decided to make a few more changes. This included gradually come off Sertraline (Zoloft). This is a really big deal for me. Like infertility, it bothers me that mental illnesses (including anxiety) are taboo topics. Even so, they are both huge parts of my life so I am going to talk about them.
While I am not a doctor, I know that anxiety is a real condition that can be crippling at times. I have struggled with it since I was a kid. People often told me to just get over things or toughen up. While these people may mean well, anxiety is not something I could simply overcome. It is oven involuntary and does lead to physical symptoms. For me, anxiety can make some things that may seem easy very difficult. For example, when my anxiety was at its worst, little things like standing in line at the grocery store or even leaving my house was enough to give me a panic attack. It got so bad that it lead to other things and caused me to miss a semester of college (I still managed to graduate on time).
For several years, I took Citalopram (Celexa). About a year ago, my husband and I decided to get serious about infertility treatments and my doctor recommended I switch to Zoloft. Celexa is rated as a category C drug for pregnant women. If you Google a drug and the word pregnancy, its rating will appear on the right. You can read more about the categories here. Zoloft still has risks but my RE felt a little better about this one.
In the last 8 months or so, I have made MANY health changes. I have been working hard on learning new ways to manage anxiety (including yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, counseling, etc). I feel that I am now ready to wean myself off Zoloft.
Even so, doing this is scary. There are risks associated with coming off certain medications. Additionally, I know that it is important to be healthy if I do get pregnant and anxiety can be detrimental to my health. I feel like I have carefully weighed the options and I am making the right decision.
As I always say, this (or anything I write in my posts) is not recommendations to other people. In many cases, the benefits of remaining on certain medications outweigh the risks. I am sharing my story because I always enjoy the feedback I get from other bloggers. Has anyone else struggled with this issue? I sincerely appreciate it when people share their experiences with me. It reminds me that I am not alone. Also, I have found that I learn the most from other people who have been through similar situations. xoxoxoxo – Jennie