The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc

ASRM Statement on Risk of Cancer

Embargoed For Release:                                                  CONTACT: 
January 24, 2002                                                                  Eleanor Nicoll at 202/863-2439,

                                                                                                  Sean Tipton at 202/863-2494 or             



ASRM Statement on Risk of Cancer 
Associated with Fertility Drugs


Attributable to Robert Rebar, MD
ASRM Associate Executive Director



From time to time, media reports will surface sounding the warning that drugs taken to induce ovulation cause cancer. While one study found a connection between the incidence of ovarian cancer and repetitive treatment cycles (more than 12), using a particular drug (clomiphene citrate), more recent research indicates that patients taking ovulation-inducing drugs face no greater cancer risk than the general population.

In addition, some patients may have underlying conditions, perhaps related to their infertility, that increase their risks of developing cancer. Exposure to environmental toxins, cigarette smoking, inadequate nutrition, and unhealthy body weight can contribute to difficulties conceiving, as well as increased cancer risk. 

The Practice Committee of the ASRM evaluates new research as it appears and issues reports containing its conclusions and recommendations for safe and effective treatment. Since questions remain about long-term consequences of the use of ovulation-inducing drugs, the Practice Committee recommends that physicians take a conservative stance and caution their patients that the use of certain fertility drugs may increase their lifetime risk of ovarian tumors. 

For further information, see Practice Committee Reports on ASRM's web-site. 


  • Repetitive Oocyte Donation, November 2000
  • Induction of Ovarian Follicle Development and Ovulation With Exogenous Gonadotropins,June 1998


ASRM, founded in 1944, has more than 8,500 members who are devoted to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive medicine and biology. ASRM-affiliate societies include the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.




Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.