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Side Effects of Gonadotropin

The side effects associated with gonadotropin treatment are more common and more serious than those associated with clomiphene, a synthetic drug that is also used to increase gonadotropin production. These side effects include:

  • Miscarriage: Up to 35 percent of women who become pregnant following gonadotropin therapy have a miscarriage.
  • Ovarian enlargement: This occurs in between 5 and 10 percent of treatment cycles, as multiple follicles make the ovaries larger and tenderer.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): This potentially life-threatening complication occurs when the drugs stimulate the ovaries too much, though women undergoing fertility treatments who are monitored for side effects have less than a 1 percent risk of developing severe OHSS.
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Headache and abdominal pain

Individuals receiving hCG should contact their doctor if they notice any of the following side effects:


  • Acne
  • Breast enlargement
  • Penis and testicular enlargement
  • Development of facial or pubic hair
  • A sudden height increase
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., hives or skin rash


  • Indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Stomach or pelvic pain or bloating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., hives or skin rash)

Common side effects of hCG that do not usually require medical attention include:

  • Changes in emotion or mood
  • Headache
  • Pain, irritation or inflammation at the injections site
  • Fatigue

Locations for Gonadotropin