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Does Clomiphene/PCOS Cause Birth Defects?
By Sam Thatcher, MD, Ph.D.

Sam Thatcher, MD, Ph.D.Q. Is there an increased risk for birth defects for my baby since I've got PCOS?

A. There have tens of thousands of pregnancies on clomiphene. The rate of birth defects does not appear to be increased. Birth defects occur in about 1% of all pregnancies.

I strongly believe that there is an increase risk of miscarriage with PCOS. There is also an increased risk of pregnancy induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia, toxemia) and gestational diabetes. Each of these can cause major problems with pregnancy. I do not know that PCOS itself has any DIRECT link with birth defects. In the past PCOS patients have been so poorly studied in this area that a conclusion can not be made.

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