Tamoxifen dangerous during pregnancy?

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Question from SusannaL: How can tamoxifen be used as a fertility treatment? It increases ovulation, but is dangerous to the fetus -- all at the same time? How can that be?
Answers - Kutluk Oktay, M.D. Tamoxifen, just like its cousin the infertility drug Clomid (chemical name: clomiphene), is used to induce ovulation in women prior to pregnancy. And thus, because they're not used once the patient ovulates and discontinues before the pregnancy, there's no risk of exposure of the drug to the fetus. There's no significant risk. Tiny amounts of the drug may still be present once pregnancy occurs -- or during the first few days of pregnancy -- but there's no evidence it causes an increased risk of birth defects. While tamoxifen should not be used during pregnancy, there have been very few birth defects reported in women who accidentally took tamoxifen while pregnant. Thus, if there is a risk, it is probably very small.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Fertility and Pregnancy featured Kutluk Oktay, M.D. and Leslie Schover, Ph.D. answering your questions about breast cancer treatments that can affect your fertility, options for preserving your fertility, being treated for breast cancer while pregnant, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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