Fertility Drugs and Ovarian Cancer IVF1

Study fails to find link between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer

This information was updated on 12/20/2004

A study performed by the National Cancer Institute studied over 12,000 women at five fertility clinics. These women received infertility treatment between 1965 and 1988. About 2/3 of them did not use fertility medications and about 1/3 did.

Importantly, the study controlled for other factors that are already known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The results showed that taking fertility medication did not result in a higher risk of ovarian cancer overall.

Looking at the results more closely, women who used Clomid (clomiphene Serophene) had a lower risk of ovarian cancer than the general population but women using inject-able gonadotropins had a slightly higher risk.

The primary risk occurred in women who failed to achieve pregnancy whether they took fertility medications or not. Earlier studies failed to take this important factor into account.

Since it takes many years for ovarian cancer to develop, it is still important to follow these women over a longer period of time. For the time being, the results are very reassuring.

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