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Monday, November 09, 2009

Fertility Drugs, Are They Worth It?

Get Pregnant Naturally vs. Fertility Drugs

I've done a number of posts about the dangers of fertility drugs.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 Here is an objective article that looks at not only the success of fertility drugs, but also the risks. Read more:

Fertility Drugs: Are they worth it?
Margaret Pendzich


From the article:



Are Fertility Drugs Safe?

One major concern surrounding fertility drugs are the instances of multiple births that arise from their use. Multiple births occur in about 50 percent of cases, especially among women in their early 30s or younger. In most cases, risks can be lowered through careful monitoring and controlling dosages of medications. For IVF, if a high number of eggs are seen developing on the ultrasound, doctors are able to remove them and place back two or three embryos. However, as Dr. Valerie Baker states, "in the case of normal or artificial insemination, we have no control. So if we see too many eggs, we may advise the couple to not attempt to get pregnant. But couples sometimes are hesitant to cancel the cycle because they have so much invested in it, both financially and emotionally". In addition, if the couple does not cancel the cycle and four or more embryos implant, the newborn babies have a high risk of neurological complications if they survive. (3).

Multiple births are also risky because they can result in the birth of sickly, premature babies. Premature babies face serious complications, including lung problems and bleeding the head, which can cause long-term physical and mental impairment. (4).

Fertility drugs are often fingered as a risk factor for ovarian cancer. There are several factors that may increase a woman's risk of ovarian cancer. One factor is that an increased number of uninterrupted ovulations in a woman's lifetime increases her chance of developing ovarian cancer. This may explain why events that interrupt the constant cycle of ovulations, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and oral contraceptive use, are associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Another factor is that increased levels of certain hormones associated with ovulation, such as human chorionic gonadotropin, increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Fertility drugs can increase both the number of ovulations and the levels of hormones associated with ovulation.

A conflicting study states that women who take ovulation-inducing drugs in conjunction with IVF are not are increased risk of developing breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer. However, women who seek treatment but do not take fertility drugs have more than twice the expected incidence of uterine cancer, and women with unexplained infertility have elevated rates of uterine an ovarian cancer. This study was based on date on 29, 700 women who registered for treatment at 10 IVF clinics in Australia. This study, however, only refers to increasing the risk of cancers when fertility drugs are taken in conjuncture with IVF, and not the risk of cancer when drugs are taken by themselves.

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