Induction of ovulation and ovarian cancer: A critical review of the literature

Ali Mahdavi, Tanja Pejovic, Farr Nezhat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: To critically examine the possible association between ovulation-inducing drugs and ovarian cancer. Design: Medline literature review and cross-reference of published data. Results(s): The studies that have adjusted for the effects of confounding factors such as duration of oral contraceptive use and number of pregnancies have noted an increased risk of ovarian cancer among infertile women who remain childless despite long periods of unprotected intercourse. Whether such women are at risk due to the primary basis for their infertility or factors such as ovulation-inducing drugs, has been the subject of several studies. Overall, the findings on ovarian cancer (especially invasive epithelial and non-epithelial) risk associated with fertility drug treatment are reassuring. However, a stronger association between fertility drug use and borderline tumors of the ovary has been observed. Conclusion(s): Despite the overall reassuring findings of the available studies, there is a need for well-designed clinical trials to understand the possible carcinogenic effects of the ovulation-inducing drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-826
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Infertility
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Ovulation induction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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