Advances in medicine have allowed many infertile couples to become parents. Unfortunately, the fertility drugs that women take to stimulate ovulation sometimes come with side effects. When you know about the side effects ahead of time, you can take action to prevent them from occurring or to minimize the effects.
Major Side Effects
The largest side effect of taking fertility drugs is an increased chance of multiple births. Fertility drugs stimulate the ovaries to release an egg, but this sometimes causes the release of more than one egg. If the man’s sperm fertilizes two or more of these eggs, the woman could have twins, triplets or more. Some parents would prefer to have twins, but carrying twins comes with risks to both the mother and babies.
Minor Side Effects
Fertility drugs can cause cramping in the ovaries. This may feel similar to the cramps you feel when you get your period. If you take an oral medication, like Clomid, you may feel nauseous, but you could experience infection if you receive the medication by injection. Clomid also give you a chance of blurred vision, headaches or hot flashes, all of which are temporary. Mood swings are also common.
Take oral medications on a full stomach, which can reduce your nausea. If you’re having an injection, you can reduce pain by icing the area before and heating it after. There is not much you can do to ease other symptoms, except to prepare yourself mentally for the possibilities. If symptoms are severe, you may need to take time off work or discontinue the medication.
While using fertility drugs does increase the chance of multiple births, 92 percent of pregnancies from the drugs are singletons. Still, if you want to be sure to avoid the chance of multiples, you should discuss the options with your doctor. You may need to avoid taking fertility drugs altogether, instead opting for in-vitro fertilization and only implanting one embryo.
In the past, many feared that using fertility drugs would lead to an increased chance of ovarian cancer. Web MD reports that recent studies have indicated no connection between fertility drugs and cancer.