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Busting Fertility Medication Myths

Fertility treatments typically involve medications that are essential to the treatment plan. These medications regulate hormones and increase the likelihood of conception. Depending on the specific medication, they may help induce ovulation, boost natural hormones, or improve sperm production.

Fertility medications are often crucial for successful fertility treatment, but myths crop up in media coverage and on social media from time to time. Let’s debunk some myths circulating now, and set the record straight on fertility medication.

Myth #1: Using Fertility Medications Will Result in Twins (or even triplets)

While a handful of the medications used during fertility treatment are used to stimulate ovulation, the chances of having twins or triplets are relatively low. With IUI and the use of a medication called Clomid or Letrozole, your doctor monitors you frequently to reduce the risk of multiples. As for IVF, gonadotropins are used, which stimulate the production of multiple eggs at once, but this too is monitored and the doctor is able to control how many embryos are transferred into the uterus for possible conception. 

It is possible to have multiples during fertility treatment, but your doctor follows your cycles closely to make sure that the risk is low. 

Myth #2: Fertility Medications Cause Cancer

With the use of medications that alter hormones and induce ovulation, there has been some concern about the risks of cancer, but there is no strong evidence to support this. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has even reviewed several studies about cancer and reproductive medical treatment and found no reasonable evidence that fertility medications have any link to cancer in patients undergoing fertility treatment. 

In the past there have been a few studies that claimed there was a potential link between fertility medications and cancer, but these studies have had many limitations that could have interfered with the results, so while it’s important to take all studies into consideration, there is not enough to go on with these studies to show any true link.

Myth 3: Fertility Medications Put You Into Early Menopause

This myth was made popular recently by Kourtney Kardashian as she stated that her fertility treatment put her into early menopause, but there is not a significant correlation between IVF treatment (including the medications used) and early menopause. 

This myth most likely stems from the fact that during IVF cycles, fertility medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to mature and release multiple eggs (average of 10-15 during a cycle), when the body usually releases one egg during a natural cycle. This would make it seem that more eggs are used during a cycle, but in reality, your body naturally recruits 100s of follicles each month, but only one of the follicles will end up releasing an egg, while the others will be lost during that cycle, so ultimately patients are not “losing” more eggs from IVF than from their natural cycle.

Fertility Medications are Safe for You and Your Partner

While many of these myths resurface from time to time, fertility medications truly are safe and only used in circumstances where they are necessary. Undergoing IUI or IVF can feel a little overwhelming, but you don’t have to be worried about any lasting negative effects from the medication involved. 

We’re here to support you and are committed to achieving the highest success rates while providing an individualized and trauma-informed patient experience. 

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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