Are you worried that if you take hormone shots or pills to help you conceive that you could be increasing your risk of cancer? The decision to take fertility drugs does not come easily for every woman. I want you to know that you’re not alone. I am asked almost daily by my patients about whether fertility treatment causes cancer. This is what you should know:
- Having children reduces your risk of breast cancer.
- Studies have shown that pregnancy also reduces your risk of ovarian cancer by 40%.
- A study of 25,000 women with fertility problems in the Netherlands published in 2008 showed that the women who did IVF (took fertility drugs) did not have an increased risk of breast cancer.
- In 2000, an Australian study of 29,700 women who had undergone IVF showed that women who took fertility medications were not at increased risk of developing ovarian, breast or uterine cancer.
Should this reassure you that you your fertility medications are cancer risk free? You should talk to your doctor about your individual risk for cancer before you make the decision to move forward with treatment. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Discuss your family history. Your doctor should individualize your treatment plan to help you feel the most comfortable about any possible risk associated with treatment.
Hope this helps.