Fertility expert, Rebecca says “IVF medication cannot cause someone to go into menopause. Menopause is due to the decline of estrogen that happens with age in people with a uterus and ovaries. In an IVF cycle, we retrieve as many mature eggs as we can get, however, this is the number of eggs you would have recruited and that would have died with that cycle anyway.”
Rebecca continues, “When we do IVF, we do not deplete your ovaries; we are simply retrieving the eggs that your body would have naturally recruited and disposed of after ovulation.”
Kourtney also claims that, because she’s “so clean and careful” with what she puts in her body, the IVF medication is “working as a contraceptive instead of helping”. Is it possible for fertility medication to stop you from getting pregnant, especially if you follow a fertility-friendly diet?
“IVF meds work differently than contraceptives,” Rebecca begins. “Contraceptives contain estrogen and progesterone, or just progesterone – these hormones in birth control prevent you from ovulating and growing an endometrial lining, and create changes to your cervical mucus. All these things hinder your body’s ability to get pregnant.
IVF meds work by stimulating your ovaries to recruit and grow many follicles/eggs to collect. Other IVF meds are added to prevent premature ovulation of the eggs you have grown and then additional medication makes you ovulate at the right time. IVF medication and contraceptives contain different hormones that work differently on your body because their goals are different.”
Whilst women’s experiences of fertility treatment like IVF can vary, there are common side effects from IVF meds.
What Common Side Effects Can You Expect During IVF?
Rebecca reminds us: “Some of the side effects of the IVF medications are similar to the side effects someone going through menopause experiences. For example, some side effects of IVF meds are:
Some common side effects you may experience when administering IVF injections include:
- Mood changes, e.g. a low mood, not feeling like yourself, feeling irritable
- Foggy brain
- Bruising/swelling at the injection site
- Hot flushes/flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular bleeding
Once the medications are stopped after the egg retrieval, the side effects will go away and you will no longer feel these symptoms.”
Many of these symptoms are similar to ones experienced in menopause which may account for Kourtney Kardashian feeling like she began menopause when having IVF medication.
There’s no need to worry that IVF medication will bring about menopause. However, if you’re concerned about any side effects of fertility treatment or worrying about whether a symptom is “normal”, speak with your fertility specialist.
Join our free, supportive fertility community app (download here) to speak with others who’ve been through it too and sign up to the FHH newsletter here so you don’t miss out on expert fertility advice.