Fertility drugs and cancer: a guideline

Infertile patients should be counseled that infertility drugs have not been shown to increase the risk of cancer.

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Volume 106, Issue 7, Pages 1617-1626

Authors:

Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Abstract:

Methodological limitations in studying the association between the use of fertility drugs and cancer include the inherent increased risk of cancer in women who never conceive, the low incidence of most of these cancers, and that the age of diagnosis of cancer typically is many years after fertility drug use. Based on available data, there does not appear to be a meaningful increased risk of invasive ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or endometrial cancer following the use of fertility drugs. Several studies have shown a small increased risk of borderline ovarian tumors; however, there is insufficient consistent evidence that a particular fertility drug increases the risk of borderline ovarian tumors, and any absolute risk is small. Given the available literature, patients should be counseled that infertile women may be at an increased risk of invasive ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancer; however, use of fertility drugs does not appear to increase this risk.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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