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Breast Cancer Risks are Not Increased by Fertility Treatments, Finds Study

According to a new study published this month in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, women who used clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or gonadotropins during fertility treatments showed no increased risk of developing breast cancer than women who took no fertility medications at all. That’s great news for women who are considering fertility treatments but who were previously concerned about whether the commonly used fertility drugs would increase their risk of cancer.

The study followed more than 12,000 women over a period of 30 years. While all of the women were evaluated for fertility, not all of the women went on to receive medical treatment, whether by medication or through procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Researchers found that even in women who were given up to 2.5 times the standard dose of 100mg of clomiphene, cancer rates were low. A small group of women who had received over 12 high doses of treatment showed a 1.5 time higher risk of developing breast cancer. The study went on to express that overall data suggested that use of fertility drugs did not increase breast cancer risk in that population of women.

In a previous study from 2009, researchers found a link between low egg reserve (a common reason medication is prescribed) and the presence of breast or ovarian cancer genes. The connection between the 2009 study and the current study may show that a mutated gene which causes early loss of egg reserves is responsible for elevated cancer risk and not fertility medications like Clomid.

In the United States, about 1 in every 8 couples experience some form of infertility. In vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) are common treatment options that can help couples achieve a successful pregnancy. To learn more about additional assistance with surrogacy, egg donation services, treatment for recurrent miscarriages, or assistance with male infertility at our Connecticut Fertility Center, Park Avenue Fertility, contact our Fairfield, Norwalk, or Trumbull fertility centers at 855-901-BABY (2229) or email us at