Do Fertility Drugs Increase Cancer Risks?


Bottomline…do fertility drugs lead to higher risks of cancer.  Because fertility drugs can contain high doses of estrogen and progesterone discussions over safety have come to light.


Fertility drugs stimulate ovulation in women by temporarily raising their estrogen levels. However, estrogen’s impact on breast cancer is still controversial.   Some studies have shown that infertility treatments lead to a higher breast cancer risk, other studies remained inconclusive.

Chunyuan Fei, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and his team decided to establish the risk of early-onset breast cancer after using ovulation-stimulating fertility drugs.  They particularly focused on fertility-drug exposure, which either did or did not result in a pregnancy for a duration of at least 10 weeks.

The finding revealed that women on fertility drugs had a considerably lower breast cancer risk than women who took no fertility drugs. Conversely, women on fertility treatment who conceived a 10-plus week pregnancy did have a statistically  higher breast cancer risk than those whose pregnancies were not viable.  Dr. Chunyuan’s team concluded that their data suggest that exposure to a stimulated pregnancy is enough to reverse the reduction in risk associated with a history of exposure to ovulation-stimulating drugs.


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