Feb 13

Side effects of Fertility Treatment

The side effects of fertility treatment can be different for everyone. Undergoing infertility treatments is no easy venture. Not only is it tough emotionally – waiting to see if you’ll finally have a successful pregnancy – but it can be taxing on your body physically too. Before you undergo any sort of treatment, it is important to know about all the possible side effects you might experience while using them.


While treatments like IVF are most popular today, fertility medications are still important to take while undergoing these treatments. There are different types of treatment methods that may be prescribed, but they all carry similar side effects. Below are some of the most common drugs used during treatments along with their potential side effects.

Some Common Drugs and Potential Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

Clomid or Serophene

These are often the first choice in treatment for most women because they have been used to treat infertility for over 20 years. Another reason is because of their little or no side effects experienced for most people. Some side effects include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Headaches

Clomid can also cause changes in cervical mucus, making it harder at times to tell if you are fertile. It has also been known to cause multiple births in some people, but comes with very small instances of this compared to other fertility treatments.

side effects of fertility treatment

side effects of fertility treatment


Injectable Hormones

If Clomid or Serophene aren’t effective in treating your infertility, your doctor may recommend Injectable hormones as a second option. These can include any of the following:

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRH agonist)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist)


These injectable treatments do raise the risk for carrying multiples quite a bit. So before undergoing these treatments, it is important to consider whether this would be a viable option for you and your partner. Aside from this, the physical infertility treatment side effects experienced during treatment are not particularly worse than with Clomid.


  • Bruising, swelling or redness at the injection site.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation: Although this is a rare condition, it causes the ovaries to become enlarged and tender.

    side effects of fertility treatment

Other Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

Although these treatments below are used far less often in infertility treatment, in certain cases they do become necessary.


Heparin: Heparin is used for women who experience multiple spontaneous miscarriages. Side effects can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or weakness in limbs
  • Increased menstrual bleeding
  • Bruise-like patches on skin
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Hair loss


Antagon (ganirelix): This is another injectable used to stop women from ovulating prematurely during infertility treatments. Some possible side effects include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach pain or swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased urination


Parlodel and Dostinex: These are used to lower certain hormones (prolactin) and decrease the size of a pituitary tumor that may be causing a decrease in ovulation. These are given orally or vaginally, not injected. Side effects are very mild and can include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping

If you experience more serious side effects such as confusion, swelling, nasal discharge, shortness of breath or hallucinations, then contact a doctor immediately.


Although side effects can seem overwhelming at first, keep in mind that they are not experienced by everybody, and when they are usually mild.