Fertility Drug Lawsuits

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 What Are Fertility Treatments?

A fertility treatment is a treatment which is aimed at increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving a child. In the majority of cases, fertility treatments focus on the woman.

They can, however, involve the male partner also. The majority of fertility treatments are administered in a case where a couple is having a difficult time conceiving.

Fertility treatments are intended to help individuals become pregnant using an artificial method. Although these types of treatments are typically used where one or both of the partners are dealing with infertility, they may also be used in instances which involve other factors, for example, to reduce the chances of certain diseases such as AIDS from being transferred.

Fertility treatments may also be referred to as, “Assisted Reproductive Technology,” or ART for short. These treatments may involve the use of methods including:

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF);
  • Sperm or egg donation;
  • Cytoplasmic transfer; and
  • Other highly advanced techniques.

The two most common types of fertility treatments are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). With IUI, sperm is collected and inserted directly into the woman’s uterus during ovulation.

With IVF, eggs are taken from the woman’s ovaries and are fertilized by sperm in a laboratory, where they develop into embryos. Following this procedure, the embryos are implanted into the woman’s uterus.

In many cases, infertility or fertility treatments involve the administration of medical substances or drugs which may alter the body’s hormonal composition. Although these methods may produce results, they may also be associated with certain side effects and risks.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Fertility Treatments?

Yes, there are certain risks and side effects which may be associated with fertility treatments, including:

  • Changes in bodily rhythms and cycles;
    Mood changes as well as mood swings associated with hormonal changes;
  • Side effects such as:
    • acne;
    • skin conditions;
    • nausea;
    • headache; and
    • other side effects;
  • Effects on other bodily systems, including:
    • lipid readings;
    • blood sugar;
    • heart cycles; and
    • blood pressure.

In some cases, fertility treatments may be linked to an increased occurrence of twin or triplet births. In addition, fertility treatments may be dangerous for women who are older and age and may be past the normal age of child birth.

There are also other risks which have been associated with fertility treatments, including risks to the mother, such as:

  • Multiple births: The common risk that is associated with a fertility treatment. Unplanned multiple births, such as twins, triplets, etc., may pose certain risks to the mother and to the infants as well in some cases. It may occurs in some cases which involve embryo splitting where “twinning” is intentionally desired;
  • Ectopic pregnancy: Where the egg implants in a place outside of the normal site of the fallopian tube, such as in the ovary; and
  • Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome: A cluster of eggs is stimulated to overgrowth because of the fertility drugs.

There are also risks to the infants, although these are generally not as common as the risks to the mother. These risks may include:

  • Low birth weight;
  • Genetic disorders; and
  • Premature birth.

As with any form of newer technology, there are various risks and side effects which may arise whenever a new technique or method of infertility treatment is used.

What Are Common Legal Issues Involving Fertility Treatments?

There are various legal issues and concerns which are often associated with fertility treatments. Individuals should be wary of several issues, including:

  • The use of unsafe drugs;
  • Questionable methods suggested to the patient;
  • Unlicensed persons attempting to give advice; and
  • Fraudulent treatment arrangements, including scams, etc.

Lawsuits involving fertility treatments may also arise due to medical malpractice, negligence, and other standard legal causes of action. For example, if a doctor prescribes the incorrect type of fertility medication, it may cause injuries to that patient.

If, in fact, the doctor was negligent, the patient may be awarded compensatory damages.

What Are Fertility Drugs?

Fertility drugs, in general, affect the hormonal systems of individuals who are experiencing difficulty conceiving, or becoming pregnant. These types of drugs or medications are often prescribed as part of an overall infertility treatment program.

Fertility drugs are typically administered to women and often rely upon altering the individual’s hormonal system to facilitate childbirth. Some categories of fertility drugs include:

  • Clomid and other anti-estrogen drugs;
  • Injectable hormones, including:
    • hCG;
    • follicle stimulating hormones; and
    • other hormones; and
  • Ovulation-inducing hormones, including ovarian stimulation drugs.

There are some drugs which may claim to treat male infertility, such as a low sperm count, but studies on the drugs are still inconclusive.

Are There Any Dangers with Fertility Drugs?

In many cases, fertility drugs are linked to various side effects. For example, an orally-ingested anti-estrogen drug may have side effects including:

  • Nausea;
  • Headache;
  • Blurred vision; and
  • Other symptoms.

The hormonal changes in the individual’s body may also lead to other side effects, such as hot flashes and changes in cervical mucus. Some more serious dangers which are associated with fertility drugs may include:

  • Increased likelihood of multiple births;
  • Stimulation of multiple follicles;
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which, in some cases, leads to cysts.

Some of the more serious risks associated with fertility drugs are linked more closely with injectable hormone treatments. A defective drug or fertility-related product may also account for injuries of negative side effects.

An error in the prescription of the fertility drug may lead to injuries and possible lawsuits. A fertility drug lawsuit may result in remedies, for example, an economic damages award for the victim of the injury.

In addition, certain fertility drug lawsuits are filed as class action lawsuits, especially when a large number of individuals have been affected by the same product.

What if I Need to File a Legal Claim Involving a Fertility Treatment?

A fertility treatment lawsuit may involve numerous important legal issues. For example, a fertility treatment lawsuit may involve medical malpractice if a doctor violates the health standards for IVF procedures.

Another example may involve the negligent care of a nurse. It is important to note that there are many different parties that may be held liable. This is because a single fertility treatment may often involve contributions from numerous different health care professionals.

In a lawsuit involving a fertility treatment, a plaintiff may be able to recover a legal damages award. These awards may involve substantial amounts of money, especially in cases which involve serious injury or serious losses on the part of the plaintiff.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Fertility Drug Injuries?

A lawsuit which involves a fertility drug may involve very technical medical and legal concepts. In many cases, it will require the testimony of a medical expert, if not numerous medical experts.

It may be in your best interest to hire a class action lawyer if you have been injured by a fertility drug and need to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will review your case, advise you of the laws which apply in your state, and inform you of your legal options and rights.

It is important to note that the laws which govern medical treatments and drugs may vary by state, so it is important to consult with your attorney if you have any specific questions regarding the issues in your case.

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