Use of Fertility Drugs Like Clomid Linked to an Increased Risk of Cerebral Palsy
Multiple studies have indicated that women who had undergone fertility treatment before becoming pregnant may increase the risk of birth injuries, including neurological disorders like cerebral palsy.
Researchers from the University of California conducted a study which indicated that women who took fertility drugs (e.g., Clomid, Letrozole, Gonadotropins, etc.) prior to pregnancy were about three times more-likely to experience multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) and had an increased likelihood of premature birth; both of which increase the chances of a serious birth injury.
In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association uncovered evidence that a significant number of infants who developed cerebral palsy due to a birth injury were from multiple-fetus pregnancies. The study involved 431 children with cerebral palsy, and researchers found that 51 (11.8 percent) of these children were born as twins or triplets. This is quite significant, seeing as the normal rate of multiple pregnancies is about 1.5 percent.
In four cases, both twins developed CP, and in 13 others, one twin had died either in utero or after birth. The study also indicates that 11 percent of the children studied were born extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks).
Researchers in Australia studied 6,100 births that had been assisted by reproductive technology, and discovered that birth injuries occurred in 8.3 percent of cases where any type of fertility treatment was involved (a 43 percent higher risk than normal). The study showed that the highest risk for birth injuries was among women who had used Clomid (clomiphene citrate), which increased the risk of a birth defect or injury by about 300 percent.
How Does Clomid Increase the Risk of Cerebral Palsy?
While Clomid itself has not been shown to cause birth defects directly, the fact of the matter is that the use of such medication significantly increases the chances of a multiple pregnancy.
Pregnancies with multiple fetuses are much more-risky and can involve serious complications, and expectant mothers often experience a higher rate of c-sections, preeclampsia, premature births, and fetal asphyxiation leading to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and/or cerebral palsy (CP).
Due to the many factors involved, it may be difficult to prove that Clomid played a prominent role in your child’s development of cerebral palsy, at least without the assistance of an attorney who can investigate and back up your claims.
One family was recently awarded $12 million after their twin girls were both born with cerebral palsy. The mother had taken Clomid prior to becoming pregnant, but claimed that she would not have done so if she had been aware of the full extent of the risks she faced.
The jury heard evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claim that she was not advised of the possibility Clomid could significantly increase the potential for having twins and even result in premature birth. The twins were born after only 30 weeks gestation and suffered from a number of serious health problems. The jury determined that the physician was negligent in failing to warn the woman of the potential pregnancy risks, and awarded the family $12,000,000 in damages.