Emotional and physical effects of fertility drugs

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, explains what the most common emotional and physical side effects of fertility drugs are
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Emotional and physical effects of fertility drugs

Everybody responds very differently when on fertility drugs and it really depends on what's going on in your life. And it seems like the infertile woman has a much stronger response – negative response – to being on fertility drugs where, for example, an egg donor that goes on the same fertility drugs has a much easier time of it. And the reason for that is a lot of the fertility drugs intensify your experience. So it's not necessarily that fertility drugs make you negatively emotional or positively emotional, it's just whatever is going on in your life it is bigger. And if you're struggling with infertility, being on drugs makes it harder; if you're donating, you're doing something really wonderful, so you feel okay on the drugs. There are some physical side effects – there might be some bloating, there might be some feeling tired, there might be some just feeling a little out of sorts, your jeans might be a little tight. But it's nothing that most people can't manage.
PREGNANCY, Fertility, Infertility

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, explains what the most common emotional and physical side effects of fertility drugs are


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Elaine Gordon, PhD

Fertility Specialist

Elaine Gordon is a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in infertility, child development, reproductive medicine, and third party family building.  Besides her role as a therapist and group facilitator working with patients struggling with infertility related issues, she lectures on various topics surrounding the psychological and ethical issues of contemporary family building. Dr. Gordon is the author of Mommy, Did I grow in your Tummy? Where Many Babies Come From a children’s book dedicated to explaining a child’s unique reproductive beginnings whether it be IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

Her professional associations include The American Psychological Association, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and The American Fertility Association. She has served, as the educational chair for the Psychological Special Interest Group of the ASRM, is a member of the educational committee of ASRM.  She has served on various committees regarding many aspects of reproductive medicine. Dr. Gordon’s clinical work involves individual therapy, group process for couples and individuals, staff training for programs involved in reproductive medicine and third party screening and evaluations for all participants.

Dr. Gordon is well versed in both the medical and psychological aspects of reproductive medicine utilizing third parties. Her involvement in egg donation and surrogacy programs has stimulated an interest in the issues surrounding secrecy and disclosure in third party parenting. Related to the disclosure/nondisclosure issue is the need to assess the advantages and disadvantages of open versus closed donation policies. She lectures on disclosure policies and how you talk to children about non-traditional family building with the focus being the best interest of the child. 

Throughout her career as a psychologist she has become increasingly concerned about the ethical and moral dilemmas inherent in growing field of reproductive medicine. She has co-authored a chapter entitled "Legal and Ethical Aspects of Infertility Counseling" in the textbook Infertility Counseling: A Comprehensive Handbook for Clinicians. Dr. Gordon is currently involved in several research projects investigating the psychological implication of using egg and or sperm donation as a means of building families. She continues to work with other professionals in establishing a ‘standard of care” policy for the infertility patient and third party participants.

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