IVF Medication Side Effects

One of the mostly asked questions by patients is “What are the medications I will be taking and what are the potential side effects”? As part of your educational process we will go over this in great detail, however I have prepared this brief summary as a quick reference. Please feel free to reach out to your clinical team with any questions.


The most common side effects of Crinone include breast enlargement and tenderness, constipation, drowsiness, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, and perineal pain. Similar to other progesterones, spotting and/or bleeding is possible with Crinone.

 Progesterone Injection:

Side effects that have been reported with the use of injectable progesterone include spotting or breakthrough bleeding, fluctuations in weight, breast tenderness, nausea, mood changes, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and acne. Pain, irritation, and redness at the injection site have been reported. Patients should watch for signs of allergic reaction, including flushing, itching, hives, swelling, nausea, and vomiting.


Side effects of Leuprolide include mood swings, flushing and vasomotor symptoms, acne, headache, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Side effects of subcutaneous Leuprolide tend to be mild and self-limiting; patients prone to symptoms of PMS may experience more side effects. Patients may also experience redness or pain at the injection site.


Ganirelix is associated with side effects including abdominal pain, headache, nausea, vaginal bleeding, injection site reactions and hypersensitivity reactions. It has also been linked to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

 Gonadotropins: (Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur, Luveris)

Side effects of treatment with gonadotropins include headache, abdominal pain, constipation, pain or redness at the injection site, ovarian cysts, rash, and acne. Use of gonadotropins increases the likelihood of multiple pregnancies. Up to 35% of women who become pregnant after gonadotropin/HCG therapy have a miscarriage. This is higher than the risk of miscarriage in the general population.

There is a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which, in rare cases, can be life-threatening. But when a woman is closely monitored for side effects, she has less than a 1% risk of developing severe OHSS. Symptoms of OHSS include severe pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight gain.


Side effects associated with HCG include headache, irritability, restlessness, depression, fatigue, breast tenderness, and edema. Pain at the injection site and hypersensitivity reactions has been reported.

 Lorry, Teaching RN

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>