MTX and sex

I am not quite sure how to put this question but here goes. I have just started to inject myself with MTX at home. I have been taking this since last October, anyway the nurse who came to observe me inject it advised me that my other half would have to take precautions in the way of using a condom. She said this is due to the drug being cytotoxic and this can be passed on through intercourse. My Rheumy team at the hospital have never mentioned it to me. I am not of child bearing age so there is no risk of pregnancy it is merely due to it being toxic.

Is this correct? Can anyone advise if they have been told this and what does she mean by "I can pass it on" I was going to ring my specialist nurse but can't bring myself to ask about it over the phone...

12 Replies

Hi Debbie, I've never heard of this and certainly never had advice of this kind.

However, MTX can be toxic to a developing embryo (baby) and pregnancy should be avoided. Perhaps either you or your nurse has misunderstood what was said, check your patient leaflet to the best of my knowledge it doesn't mention it on there either.

Beth xx


How weird Debbie, I've never heard of this being given as advice either (and I don't want to be crude, but if it was a problem then surely more likely with men with RA having to protect their partners). Perhaps it is an issue for cancer sufferers who take much much higher doses than we do poor things, but I wouldn't know. Anyway it's clear that pregnancy is a no-no with MTX so perhaps you look very young for your age?

If you can bear to it would be worth asking her more the next time you see her, as if it's wrong advice then she needs to know so she doesn't alarm others. Hard to imagine that it's the right advice but if there is anything in this then we'd all like to know as well! Polly



You could be right about the nurse misunderstanding but she definitely explained it was not due to pregnancy. It does also mention it in my Metoject folder I got from the hospital. It said Mature adults should use condom including 6 months after finishing taking the mtx. I might call my specialist nurse at the Rhuemy clinic to confirm. I will update when I have anymore info.


Cheers Debbie, as Polly says we'd all be very interested if this is correct. However, I still think it's probably the risk of pregnancy even for us mature patients. If still having periods, pregnancy is still a risk even at our tender age! lol xx


Does it say use condom specifically, or just use effective contraception such as condom? I was aware that you need 6 months to get it out of your system if you intend to become pregnant, and were I not rather too old! But yes please update up as I'm fascinated to know... Polly


Yes I assumed this to be the case also re older women still possibly getting pregnant. I've never even managed to broach the subject of contraception as an almost post menopausal woman - let alone thought about it being something that can be passed on? Mainly because there are always other things to ask the practice nurses and GPs when I see them. Is it the RA she thinks gets passed on or the toxicity of the MTX - presumably the latter? And does it only apply to MTX that's injected not to the tablets I wonder? Yes please do keep us informed Debbie - it's intriguing! TTx


No, never been told this!! When I started MTX I had had hysterectomy so poss. of pregnancy didnt come into it so maybe it is to do with that - I definitely havent heard of this (and to be frank, havent used that precaution because of MTX!)

Maybe call your cons. and clear it up or your GP.

Maybe injections are different?



Hello all

I have left a message with my rheumy nurse and she will probably ring me tomorrow so i will be able to update you all. I need to be sure myself also as my husband is panicking in case I have passed something onto him. I will also check my metoject folder tonight and look at the paragraph that mentions this. We shall all have to remain celibate until we can clear this one up! Ha Ha..


Debbie, I think the nurse was speaking re possible pregnancy, any one can theoretically have a small risk of pregnancy until they gone a year with no periods around potential menopause and menopause age can very between 44 and 58!, I have no idea of your age but as you are Debbie 50 Im assuming you are 50?.. so unless you have gone a year with no period there is still a small potential risk of pregnancy.


This question also came up a while a go on the NRAS members forum. The conclusion was it is only a problem for cancer patientsat take it in much higher doses.

The homecare nurses seem to treat everyone the same. When I was injecting MXT I had a good laugh with my rheumy nurse about the size of the spill kit they sent me. I had aprons, soak up granules, a massive contamion bin and instruction book. There was only 5ml in each syringe. She said even if the whole lot was spilt a couple of cotton wool balls would be adequate and they could be put in the sharps bin!



Hi all. I have an update for you. My rheumy nurse rang me this morning and told me nothing to worry about and can't pass anything on to my husband. She spoke to pharmacist who confirmed no risk at all. Sorry if I worried anyone but the home care nurse was adamant I could pass toxicity onto my husband. I will only listen to the experts in future and all of you experts too. I shall end on the celibacy ban can now be lifted.........deb. xx


Thanks for letting us know. I hope someone will explain to the nurse who first mentioned it to you too. Don't want her wandering round preading doom & gloom to hundreds of patients! Enjoy your evening. Polly.


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