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IVF, or invitro fertilization, can bring great hope to women who would not otherwise be able to get pregnant. IVF rates are on the rise, and advancing technology means that success rates are also increasing. If you are about to start your first IVF cycle, or are still looking into the ins and outs of this procedure, knowing what to expect from the IVD is key. Every woman who goes through IVF needs fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation and egg production. What are the side effects of these injectable fertility drugs?

Injectables, which include the drugs Lupron, Antagon, Follistim, and Pregnyl, are called that because they are injected into the body with a needle. The woman who is preparing for IVF almost always injects the drugs she was prescribed herself. There is a bit of a learning curve to this, but once you get used to it is is not all that difficult. Most of the above mentioned injectables only require injection beneath the skin, but a few have to go into a muscle. Injecting yourself sounds a bit frightening, and it is entirely possible that you will experience some swelling or redness at the injection site. If you have pain or severe bruising, it is important to let your RE know about this.

The medications themselves differ in side effects, but on the whole, injectable fertility medications are able to induce breast tenderness, headaches, insomnia, and constipation. Menopause-like symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flushes, cold flushes, and a decreased libido are also not uncommon. These, while annoying, are not harmful. If you notice hives, breathing difficulties, or swelling anywhere on your body, it is possible that you are suffering from an allergic reaction to the medication you were prescribed, and seeking immediate medical attention is advised. Heart palpitations, chest pain, blood in your urine, or severe bone pain, also requires you to see a doctor as soon as you can. Unfortunately, IVF medications tend to have quite a high chance of giving you side effects. But many women also find them very tolerable, and only suffer side effects that cause them minor discomfort. Have you used any of the fertility drugs mentioned above? What was your experience, and what would you advise women who are about to start using them?

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