Mar 13

What Are the Side Effects of IVF Medications?

IVF Medication Side Effects - San Antonio, TX

Posted on March 13, 2017 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

Injecting a fertility drugThe topic of fertility drugs comes up a fair amount here at the Fertility Center of San Antonio. Many patients, particularly those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), have questions about how these drugs work, how they're used, and what side effects are associated with them.

We'd like to take a moment to go over some basics regarding fertility drugs and their roles in the IVF process. We'll then consider some of the side effects that patients commonly experience. This should give you a good idea of what to expect as you undergo IVF.

The Role of Fertility Drugs During In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Fertility drugs help ensure the success of an IVF procedure. By using fertility trugs, a fertility specialist is able to boost hormone levels to help develop viable eggs and to trigger ovulation at the exact right moment.

Fertility drugs may be taken orally or administered through injections. In general, the side effects of oral medications are milder or less serious than the side effects of injected medications.

Common Fertility Drugs

The most common fertility drugs used during IVF are as follows:

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

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – Additional FSH can be used with Clomid to help promote the production of viable eggs.

  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) – hMG combines FSH and LH, and supplements the effects of Clomid if needed.

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) – hCG triggers a woman's ovaries to release viable eggs, serving a purpose similar to the other drugs listed above.

Clomid Side Effects

The common side effects of Clomid are as follows:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Sensitive breasts
  • Changes in mood
  • Spotting and bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

FSH and hMG Side Effects

The common side effects of FSH and hMG are as follows

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

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Side Effects

The common side effects of hCG are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Hot flashes
  • Bloating
  • Swelling near the injection site
  • Tenderness around the injection site
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitive breasts
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

Discuss the IVF Process in More Detail

It's important to discuss the use of these fertility drugs and the entire IVF process with our team during a consultation process. We can provide greater insight on dosage and proper use when you stop by in person.

An in-person visit will also give us a chance to discuss any other concerns you may have about the IVF process and what it entails. We'll be more than happy to answer questions and provide you with the information you need to be confident in the IVF process.

Contact the Fertility Center of San Antonio

For more information about fertility drugs and fertility treatments, we encourage you to contact our fertility treatment center today. The team at our practice looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

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