Infertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization, can help those who have struggled to conceive realize their dreams of starting a family. Most fertility treatments require different types of medications. Unfortunately for some women, one of the side effects of some of these drugs may be headaches. Read here to learn more about fertility treatment and headaches, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Janelle Dorsett at the Lubbock, TX based Centre for Reproductive Medicine to discuss your concerns
Which Fertility Treatments Cause Headaches?
There are different types of fertility treatments that may be used to help couples or single women realize their dreams of starting a family. Many of these treatments require medications to control ovulation. As a result, most of these medications are associated with side effects that are similar to what a women experiences around the time of her menstrual cycle, like cramping, bloating, and moodiness. In addition to these side effects, some women may suffer from headaches. Women may experience headaches when taking medications for the following fertility treatments:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
- In vitro maturation (IVM)
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Infertility Medications that May Cause Headaches
The medications used for fertility treatment will vary based on the type of treatment being administered. While the following list does not include all medications used in fertility treatment, these medications may cause headaches:
- Ovulation stimulants: Medications used to stimulate the ovaries to release the eggs include clomiphene citrate (Clomid® and Serophene®), human menopausal gonadotropins (Menopur® and Repronex®) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Factrel® and Lutrepulse®).
- Ovulation deterrent: Medications used to prevent premature ovulation include Lupron®, Zoladex®, and Synarel®, which are gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists.
What Can You Do to Relieve Headaches during Fertility Treatment?
If you experience headaches, including migraines, during fertility treatment, it is best to talk to your doctor about the best approach for treating your headaches. Certain headache or migraine medications may not be suitable for use with fertility treatment, so it is important to discuss which medications you plan to take or are taking for pain relief with your fertility doctor. It may also be beneficial to try non-pharmacologic treatments to reduce headache pain, as these will not interfere with medications. Some drug-free headache relief treatments that may help during fertility treatment include:
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture may help reduce pain by encouraging the body to release endorphins.
- Stress management: Practicing stress management techniques, like yoga, meditation, or walking, may help ease headache pain.
- Massage: Massage may also help ease and prevent headaches by stimulating blood flow.
- Aromatherapy: Breathing in soothing essential oils, like lavender and peppermint, may help relieve headache pain and calm the body.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep may increase the risk of a headache. Getting plenty of sleep and taking time to rest may help.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about fertility treatment, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine.