Nolvadex Fertility Treatment Risks and Side-Effects

Infertility patient talking to her doctor

Although Nolvadex is an anti-oestrogen drug developed to treat breast cancer, Nolvadex fertility treatments have also helped women to overcome problems with conception related to their fertility.

Nolvadex Fertility Treatment

Like many drugs, Nolvadex has surpassed it's original design intent as a cancer fighting drug. Because it is an estrogen antagonist that stops the hormone from reaching estrogen receptors, it also serves as a useful treatment for a variety of hormone-related fertility problems in women. Nolvadex fertility treatments are usually short-term and prescribed to patients who have difficulty tolerating Clomid.

As a fertility drug, Nolvadex stimulates the ovaries, inducing ovulation 65-75 percent of the time. However, even with this increase in ovulation, Nolvadex is less effective than Clomid when it comes to women actually conceiving. Women taking Nolvadex for fertility average about 30-35 percent increase in getting pregnant.


Remember that Nolvadex was designed to be used to treat breast cancer. It is an effective estrogen blocker and helps control estrogen-stimulated cancer cell growth. As a benefit to pre-menopausal women fighting breast cancer, Nolvadex helps maintain fertility during cancer treatment. However, women are advised not to take Nolvadex during any stage of pregnancy, so it's important to stop taking the drug when the time comes to conceive because it could harm the unborn child. In fact, fertility and conception tests on rats showed that doses of about 0.01 of the daily maximum recommended for humans, when administered two weeks before mating and continued through the seventh day of pregnancy, often lead to fetal mortality.

Another thing to consider while taking Nolvadex is that because it works to block estrogen, your contraception choice will have to be non-hormonal in choice. For example, you should not take birth control pills. A condom or diaphragm would be a better choice.

As with any fertility drug, taking Nolvadex increases the risk of multiple pregnancies. Although compared to other fertility drugs, the risk is low. For example, the risk for having twins as a result of taking Nolvadex is 10 percent and the risk of having triplets drops to less than 1 per cent.

Common Side Effects

Reactions to most medications are as individual as the patient and it's no different for Nolvadex. Although your doctor can't predict what side effects you'll experience, he can provide you with a list of possibilities. However, it is good to know that many women have no side effects at all while taking Nolvadex. And, for the most part, if you are one of the women who suffers from severe side effects, your doctor will prescribe an alternate drug.

Because Nolvadex plays with your hormones, side effects tend to be more common in pre-menopausal patients. This is because the lowered oestrogen levels result in menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats. So before you start Nolvadex fertility treatments, understand that side effects are a possibility. Common side effects include:

  • Blood Clots
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Endometriosis
  • Hot flashes and sweats
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Menstruation irregularities
  • Nausea
  • Thinning hair
  • Visual problems
  • Voice changes
  • Weight gain

Other Warnings

Beyond side effects come warnings that link uterine malignancies in association with taking Nolvadex. Also, endometrial changes including hyperplasia and polyps have been reported in connection with Nolvadex treatment. Reports suggest that the underlying cause is related to the estrogenic properties of the drug.

Weigh out the pros and the cons and talk these risks and warnings over with your doctor before starting a Nolvadex fertility treatment. With your health practitioner's guidance, you'll be able to make the choice that's right for you.

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Nolvadex Fertility Treatment Risks and Side-Effects