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IVF Medication Side Effects

By HCRM on March 15, 2017


IVF Medication Side EffectsA variety of different medications are used during in vitro fertilization (IVF). These medications can serve different purposes depending on your individual needs. There are some IVF medication side effects you should be aware of so you know what to expect during treatment. The fertility experts at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine in Omaha, NE can tell you which medications you will be taking and what specific side effects you should expect.

Below is a list of the potential medications you may take during your IVF treatment and the side effects you may experience.

Clomiphene Citrate

Clomid® is the most common clomiphene citrate medication. The medication is primarily prescribed to stimulate ovulation in women with irregular periods, such as no period, infrequent periods, or lengthy cycles. Potential side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Hot flashes
  • Tender breasts
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Pelvic discomfort

These medications also carry a risk of ovarian cysts, miscarriage, and an increased risk for multiple births.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

The FHS injection provides direct stimulation for ovarian follicle growth. Typical side effects include:

  • Rash or inflammation at the injection site
  • Tender breasts
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression and mood swings

These injections may also increase the risk for ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), miscarriage, premature birth, and multiple births.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropins

More commonly known as hMG, these injections contain FSH and leutinizing hormone (LH). They provide stimulation to encourage the release of multiple eggs during a single cycle. Potential side effects are the same as those listed for FSH.

Bromocriptine and Cabergoline

These are oral medications taken to reduce pituitary secretions. Side effects may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headaches
  • Drop in blood pressure

Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone

These injections are used to stimulate pituitary secretions of FSH and LH. Side effects may include:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

Patients taking GnRH are at a risk of mild OHSS and multiple births.

GnRH Agonists

Available in injection form and nasal sprays, these are used to prevent premature ovulation, while also enabling the production of more quality eggs. Potential side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Loss of bone density

GnRH Antagonists

These injections also work to prevent premature ovulation and include many of the same side effects listed above for GnRH Agonists.

Preparing for IVF Medications

Talk with your doctor about the types of medications you will take during your IVF treatment. Ask about the potential side effects and if there are any other medications you can take to mitigate those effects. When you know what to expect, the IVF medication side effects are less worrisome. If you experience other serious symptoms not mentioned above, please contact your doctor right away to rule out any serious complications.

Schedule a Fertility Evaluation

If you are ready to consider IVF, contact our fertility center to schedule an appointment with one of our expert doctors. They can determine whether IVF is right for you and detail what you can expect during treatment.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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