Can I Reduce the Side Effects of Fertility Drugs?

What can I do to offset some of the side effects of fertility drugs?
profile picture of Wayne S. Maxson, MD, medical director, reproductive endocrinologist, and founder, IVF Florida Reproductive Associates
ByWayne S. Maxson, MD, medical director, reproductive endocrinologist, and founder, IVF Florida Reproductive Associates
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

Making a baby is generally fun — except if you need the help of some fertility drugs, whose side effects can range from generally mild to downright miserable. Side effects vary depending on the type of medicine you’re taking. Chlomiphene citrate, for example (best known by the drug names  Clomid or serophene), is one of the most common medicines for stimulating ovulation, but its side effects can include hot flashes, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, depression, mood swings and ovarian cysts. Other medicine, like Lupron, can send you into a temporary state of menopause, complete with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia and headaches. Talk to your doctor about using the lowest dose possible of the medicine to minimize these side effects. There are also some medications that can reduce the symptoms, from antidepressants to acetaminophen (aka Tylenol). Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support taking herbs like black cohosh or Siberian ginseng, although you’ll find them touted on some websites as a cure-all for certain side effects. Some women find acupuncture is helpful in managing some of the stress and anxiety surrounding fertility treatments. Taking a walk or doing some other moderate exercise can also help. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns, and seek out support either with your family and friends or with a support group of your peers. The good news is that most side effects go away pretty soon after you’ve stopped taking the drugs, so you can hopefully focus on a healthy  pregnancy and not the treatments that got you there.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video

Childcare Costs Continue to Rise So Far in 2020, Survey Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/02/2020

Study Shows Which Expectant Dads May Adjust Easier to Fatherhood

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/02/2020

The Top Rare Baby Names for Boys and Girls That Should Be on Your Radar

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/02/2020

Kristen Bell Says Mom-Shaming Pushed Her to Potty Train Her 5-Year-Old

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/02/2020

Parenting Pain Is More Prevalent Than You Might Think, Study Finds

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/01/2020

These Boy Names Are Increasing in Popularity for Girls, Nameberry Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/01/2020
Advertisement