Are There Side Effects When Taking Fertility Drugs?



Many prescription drugs have side effects. Strictly speaking, a side effect is an effect that a medication has that is not its primary intended effect. In this sense, nearly every type of medication has some side effect or another. Fertility drugs are no exception.

Fertility drugs generally come into two types. The first type, which is given in the form of a pill, would include drugs such as Clomid. Other types of fertility drugs are typically injected, such as Repronex, Follistim, Pergonal, Repronex, and Gonal-F. In general, the injectible fertility medications tend to have fewer side effects than pill fertility drugs.

One side effect that is common in both types of fertility drugs is the risk of multiple births. In somewhere around half of cases, fertility drugs lead to a pregnancy with twins or multiples. Multiple births and multiple pregnancies carry with them certain inherent risks, which should be discussed with your health care provider before starting fertility drugs.

Another concern with fertility drugs is the risk of ovarian cancer. There is some research to suggest that drugs that induce ovulation, such as Clomid, help raise the risk of ovarian. This is because an increased amount of ovulations that are not interrupted over the lifetime of a woman makes a woman more likely to develop ovarian cancer.





Side effects that are unique to Clomid do not occur in all women but are significant. These can include severe hot flashes, and enlargement of the ovaries. These are the most common side effects, and occur in around 10 to 14 percent of women who take clomid. Less than six percent of women on Clomid will have abdominal or pelvic bloating or discomfort, nausea, breast discomfort, or problems with vision. Less than two percent of women on Clomid will have headache or uterine bleeding. In addition, some women report that Clomid causes their cervical mucus to become hostile, leading to additional infertility difficulties.

Before taking any medication, you should thoroughly discuss the side effects with your health care provider.


Last modified: February 10, 2013

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