If you have been trying to get pregnant for at least a year and havent been able to, you could be infertile. The good news is that medical advances mean that fertility drugs may help you to become pregnant. Before you decide on going that route, you should know what the long-term risks of fertility drugs are.
About Fertility Drugs
Doctors prescribe fertility drugs to women with ovulation disorders to help start or regulate ovulation. Fertility drugs can also help when sperm concentration or motility is low, according to the IVF New Jersey website. Two of the more common fertility drugs are clomiphene citrate, sold as Clomid or Serophene, and gonadotropins. Typically, clomiphene citrates are the initial choice, and if they dont work, your doctor may add gonadotropins to the mix or prescribe them alone.
Clomiphene citrate fools your body into thinking that you have less estrogen, which means that your body thinks you are entering menopause. You may experience side effects, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headaches, mood swings and visual disturbances, according to the IVF New Jersey website. With gonadotropin, the miscarriage rate is greater than with a natural conception.
Multiple pregnancies are another side effect of fertility drugs. Women who take Clomid have a 5-to-12 percent chance of having twins, according to the Baby Center website. Having three or more babies is also a possibility. About 20 percent of women who use gonadotropins will have a multiple birth, according to the IVF New Jersey website. The greater the number of fetuses a woman carries, the higher the risk of delivering prematurely, according to WebMD. Premature babies are at risk for developmental and health problems.
Large ovarian cysts are a possible side effect of both clomiphene citrate and gonadotropins. The cysts can cause bloating and abdominal pain. If cysts develop, you should restrict your physical activity, including intercourse. The cysts typically disappear in two to three weeks, but they may require surgery to remove them.
In the 1990s, people thought that fertility drugs increased a womans chance of getting ovarian cancer. Although the “British Medical Journal” did not rule out the link completely, the 2009 Danish study cited–after reviewing statistics of 54,362 women–suggested that fertility drugs do not increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The study did show an increase of serous ovarian cancer tumors in woman who took clomiphene citrate, but researchers cannot say if this is a statistical aberration or a side effect of Clomid, according to The New York Times.