With the advances made in infertility treatments in recent years, drugs that stimulate the ovaries have been used more and more frequently. It is thought that approximately 10% of pregnancies and 2-3% of live births in our country are caused by stimulation of the ovaries after infertility treatment.
Among the drugs used in infertility treatments, hCG has been widely used since 1932, while hMG and clomiphene have been widely used since the 1960s.
Although they have been used increasingly for a long time, the relationship between these drugs and cancer has still not been fully revealed. Although many studies have been published in recent years examining the use of infertility drugs and their effects on uterine, breast and ovarian cancer, the scientific literature contains conflicting data.
The drugs used to treat infertility work by increasing the hormone levels in the body. Since it is known that cancers of the female reproductive system are affected by hormones, these drugs may theoretically increase the risk of cancer. However, the relationship between these cancers and hormones has not been fully elucidated yet.
Although it is generally thought in theory that the use of hormones will increase the risk of ovarian cancer, no findings have been found to support this theory in studies conducted so far.
Since not having given birth is known as a risk factor in itself, it is thought that being pregnant and giving birth after treatment reduces this risk. Therefore, each pregnancy reduces the possibility of developing cancer in the future.
There are many studies reporting breast cancer cases that occur after the use of infertility drugs. However, the scientific value of these studies is low.
When the causes of breast cancer are examined, it is observed that ovulation disorders are one of these reasons. Exposure of women to high estrogen levels during treatment may have a carcinogenic effect on the breast. Many studies show that the risk of breast cancer does not change after these treatments.
On the other hand, it is claimed that clomiphene may have a protective effect on breast tissue due to its similarity to tamoxifen, which is used in the treatment of breast cancer.
It is known that the risk of uterine cancer increases in women who cannot have children. Studies show that women with treated or untreated infertility are at higher risk than others at the same rate.
Studies with clomiphene show that long-term use of this drug increases the risk of uterine cancer. There was no clear relationship between the drugs used to treat infertility and skin, thyroid and lymphatic cancers.
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