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The 6 adverse effects of fertility drugs

If you are thinking of taking fertility drugs for infertility, it's important to know of any these 6 adverse effects that you might experience with fertility drugs.

Women's Health By Ariba KhaliqJul 09, 2015

Effects of fertility treatment

Approximately 20 percent of women opt for a fertility treatment plan to get pregnant. And one of the most common questions asked by them is, “What are the side-effects of the medications I will be taking?” The answer to this question should be given in detail by a fertility expert. Women should understand that side-effects and adverse effects are two different things and must be understood well. Side-effects are minor symptoms suffered by a significant number of patients and may include nausea and headaches. Adverse effects, as the name suggests, are more severe in nature.

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Adverse effects of fertility drugs

Serious effects of taking a medication usually are rare and often unpredictable. It could be a stroke, heart attack or something less deadly such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. If an adverse effect is extremely rare, it may not even be discovered until large number of patients report it. Luckily, most fertility drugs are safe for use with relatively rare and treatable adverse effects and mild side-effects. If you’re contemplating taking a fertility drug, consider the following effects of different fertility prescriptions.

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Clomiphene

This FDA-approved drug is widely prescribed to women with unexplained infertility in women who do not ovulate on their own regularly. The most common side-effects of it are hot flashes, night sweats, dizziness and mood swings. The woman could experience some adverse effects such as ovarian hyperstimulation, abdominal pain or bloating, and temporary visual disturbances.

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GnRH agonists

Widely used in the US to prevent premature ovulation in IVF cycles, GnRH agonists are not approved by FDS for IVF use. If you’re taking them, you could suffer mild headaches. If you have an unrecognized pituitary tumour, you can experience a type of pituitary “stroke” while you are on these medications. This is a rare, but potentially adverse effect.

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Gonadotropins

FDA approved these for super-ovulation and in IVF to enlist multiple eggs. The most common side-effects of it are tiredness, pain and redness at the local injection site, abdominal fullness or bloating. Contrary to popular belief, patients on gonadotropins rarely complain of mood swings. Adverse reactions of this drug are ovarian hyperstimulation and multiple pregnancies (twins or more). However, women desperate to conceive wouldn’t really mind having more children at one time.

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GnRH Antagonists

These drugs have been approved for use in IVF to prevent premature ovulation. There have not been any side-effects seen. However, earlier versions of the FDA-approved medication were sometimes linked with severe allergic reactions.

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hCG

FDA has approved this drug for ovulation induction. It is commonly used to time insemination or egg retrieval. An increased discomfort and a rare but possible outright pain at the time of ovulation are two of its side-effects. It could show some adverse reactions in women with multiple follicles on gonadotropins. It may give the final kick to ovaries to tip someone over into hyperstimulation syndrome.

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Progesterone

FDA has approved Prometrium for use during menopause in conjunction with oestrogen hormone replacement. Most common side-effects of using it are very minor such as breast tenderness or mild bloating. But, it can also project adverse effects such as irritation or itching in the vagina. Rare but possible effects could be local skin infections to progesterone.

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