Women who undergo treatment for infertility can be exposed to a variety of hormonally active drugs, including clomiphene citrate, human menopausal gonadotrophin, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Studies examining the relationship between use of fertility drugs and breast cancer risk have been hampered by small numbers of women and the inability to adequately control for all important confounding factors. Bearing this in mind, their findings have been generally reassuring, showing no significant increase in the risk of breast cancer in infertile women treated with fertility drugs compared to infertile women who did not receive such treat-ment.24-27 However, a recent study reported a significant, transient excess of breast cancer in the 12 months following ovulation stimulation for in vitro fertilization compared to the general female population,25 and there remains considerable uncertainty about the effect of fertility drugs on breast cancer risk.
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