Jan 31 2017

The Side Effects of IVF Medications


A woman taking a pillFertility drugs are an essential part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment process. By using fertility drugs, doctors are able to trigger the release of hormones that assist in the development of viable eggs and regulate ovulation. This helps with timing a procedure out to optimize results, and boosts a woman's fertility in the process.

The team at our Lubbock fertility center believe patients should understand what their treatment entails before they undergo a procedure of any kind. Because of this, we want to cover the side effects of some common fertility drugs used in the IVF process.

Common Fertility Drugs Used

There are different kinds of fertility drugs used during IVF, though these are the most common.

  • Clomid (Clomiphene) - Clomiphene blocks estrogen and triggers the release of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone). These hormones will signal a woman's ovaries to produce eggs.

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) - Additional FSH may be used in addition to clomiphene to help promote the production of viable eggs.

  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) - This fertility drug combines FSH and LH, and can also supplement the effects of clomiphene in certain circumstances.

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) - Like the other drugs mentioned above, this fertility drug is used in order to trigger a woman's ovaries to release viable eggs.

These medications may be taken orally can can also be administered through injections. Your doctor will be able to discuss dosage and method of taking the medication in more detail as part of the consultation process. In most cases, the side effects from oral medications tend to be less serious than the side effects from injected medications.

The Side Effects of Clomid

The common side effects of Clomid include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Tender breasts
  • Mood changes
  • Spotting and bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

The Side Effects of FSH and hMG

The common side effects of FSH and hMG include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Swelling around the hands and feet
  • Mild skin rash
  • Less frequent urination

Keep in mind that hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face are signs of an allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.

The Side Effects of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

The common side effects of hCG include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Headache
  • Bloating
  • Blurry vision
  • Swelling and tenderness near injection side
  • Tender breasts
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

Use of hCG increases the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS).

An IVF Consultation Can Answer Additional Questions

During the consultation process, we will be more than happy to go over your questions and concerns about IVF treatment and how it can benefit you. We will help you consider the various risks and benefits involved in a fertility treatment so you can make any procedure choices with confidence.

Contact the Centre for Reproductive Medicine

For more information about fertility medications and how they can help you have a child, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. The team at our practice will help you make confident and well-informed decisions about your fertility options.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212