If you are considering assisted conception, you want to collect as much information as possible. No concern is too trivial, so don't worry if you're wondering, do fertility drugs cause weight gain? You don't need another article telling you that at the end of your TTC journey all your struggles will be worth it because you'll have a baby. What you do need, is intel. So, here's the 411 about fertility drugs and weight gain.
As OB-GYN Karen Leham told Pregnancy Tip, doctors are currently debating whether or not fertility drugs cause actual weight gain or just bloating. Because of the increase in estrogen, your body retains more water. As a person who keeps track of my weight by how my clothes fit, (I don't own a scale) I can attest that being bloated doesn't make it easy to fit in your pants. So, be prepared for the possibility that you may go up a size if you're taking fertility drugs. A quick survey on the topic of fertility drugs and weight gain on What To Expect, is that most women using them gained a couple of pounds.
One of the most popular drugs to stimulate ovulation, Clomid, discloses on its website that rapid weight gain and bloating are possible side effects. Of course, these are all things to discuss with your physician or reproductive endocrinologist, since every woman is different, and everyone reacts differently to various assisted conception drugs. But in the interest of sharing information, here are a couple of things about weight gain and infertility drugs to know.
1. You Might Develop A "Baby Bump" Before You're Actually Pregnant
When you're taking follicle stimulating hormones, Babble notes that your ovaries can swell, which may resemble a baby bump. "Ovaries are normally the size of a walnut," Dr. Frederick Licciardi, a reproductive endocrinologist told Babble. "But after FSH, they could be the size of plum or even the size of a grapefruit.” So, women might actually feel a bulge in around their waist when taking these hormones. There's nothing fun about this symptom. I suggest a wardrobe of leggings and stretchy pants to help get you through this time.
Additionally, according to Mayo Clinic, FSH may cause overstimulation syndrome, a rare condition where your abdominal cavity fills with an excess of fluid triggered by those egg-producing hormones. In this case, extreme bloating occurs, where your belly extends like a balloon. Luckily, this will be so obvious, you'll visit your physician immediately, and he or she can treat you.
2. Your Weight Might Affect Fertility, But That's Something To Discuss With Your Physician
Dr. William Schoolcraft, founder and medical director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, told Fitness that "ovulation is impaired if body fat is less than 12 percent or more than 30 to 35 percent." But because every woman is different, and every woman's body is different (think of your friend with the unexplainable high metabolism) most doctors are cautious about prescribing an ideal conception weight. Only your physician can advise you on your weight. But you can feel however you want to about it.
3. Investigate The Link Between Fertility And Diet
The American Pregnancy Association offers a comprehensive guide on fertility and diet. For more information on how diet and fertility may be linked, you can read about basic fertility diet staples in an e-book published by The American Pregnancy Association. But of course, this is definitely a topic to discuss with your doctor, doula, or any other specialist helping you conceive.
Bear in mind, you wonderful woman who is TTC, however you feel about the added pounds from taking fertility drugs, it's OK. Whatever your struggle, it's real.