What can I take for a headache during IVF?

What can I take for a headache during IVF?

It is important to be aware of the potential interactions between medications taken for common illnesses such as colds, flu, and infections, and medications used during IVF. Some over-the-counter medications can negatively affect the outcome of IVF by reducing the efficacy of fertility drugs or causing issues with egg quality. It is always best to consult with your doctor or fertility specialist before taking any medication, even those considered safe.

Additionally, many common medications used to treat colds, flu, or infections contain ingredients that can increase the risk of complications during an IVF cycle. For example, certain decongestants can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can negatively impact a patient’s IVF outcome. Pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can also interfere with the blood’s ability to clot, putting the patient at risk of bleeding or other complications.

It is important to remember that not all medications are safe for use during an IVF cycle, and the only way to ensure the safety and success of your IVF treatment is to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid taking any unnecessary medications. By doing so, you will increase your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy. (1)

How safe are the drugs to be taken during IVF treatment?

You should always discuss any “natural” solution with your IVF nurse or fertility doctor because natural doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe to take. Because there are so many different kinds of Chinese herbs, it is best to avoid them completely unless your fertility specialist is aware of them and approves of your use. We know that some are okay, but we also know that some aren’t, and some we just don’t know enough about.

It is okay to take Panadol or Panadeine, so there is no need to put up with discomfort or headaches. But you should stay away from Aspirin, Naprogesic, and Nurofen (Ibuprofen). (Your fertility doctor may occasionally recommend low-dose aspirin during treatment; nevertheless, you shouldn’t take it without consulting them first.) 

Many antibiotics are safe to take, and if you have a serious infection that needs them, it’s best to treat it right away. Your fertility doctor or general practitioner can provide you with a prescription for antibiotics that are safe to take during an IVF treatment cycle. 

Another excellent source for determining what is acceptable and what is not is the pharmacist at your local pharmacy. (2)

Is it safe to take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen in IVF treatment?

Pain relievers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are the most commonly accessible and widely used drugs in the world. This is because they normally work well and are accessible over the counter to treat non-specific problems like migraines, high fever, myalgia, and general discomfort.

Many people wonder about the potential impact of taking two common pain medications, paracetamol, and ibuprofen, on fertility and pregnancy. Studies indicate that taking paracetamol does not negatively affect fertility. However, ibuprofen has been associated with hormonal imbalances that can lead to reproductive problems, but more research is needed to fully understand this link. 

Experts also warn against taking ibuprofen during pregnancy, as it can affect the development of the fetus, including reproductive health, especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy. About 30% of pregnant women take ibuprofen without realizing they are pregnant or unaware of its composition. It should be noted that taking these drugs is not contraindicated for women trying to conceive, but special care should be taken with ibuprofen during pregnancy because of the potential risks. (3)

What about caffeine? Can I drink coffee or tea during IVF?

Concerning caffeine consumption during IVF treatments, there exists a balance that must be maintained for optimal results. Individuals undergoing such procedures often wonder about the safety of coffee or tea intake. Indeed, moderate caffeine consumption, defined as less than 200mg daily, is considered safe and might even offer benefits to the IVF process. On the other hand, exceeding 300mg daily can adversely affect the likelihood of achieving pregnancy success.

  • The caffeine content varies significantly across different beverages and their preparation methods.
  • For instance, an 8oz serving of brewed coffee typically contains approximately 95mg of caffeine.
  • Similarly, a cup of black tea holds about 47mg.

These figures are averages, with actual amounts potentially deviating. Therefore, individuals accustomed to daily coffee should consult their healthcare provider. This discussion aims to ascertain a consumption threshold that neither compromises their IVF journey nor deprives them of their cherished ritual. Healthcare professionals might suggest keeping a close watch on caffeine intake or possibly transitioning to decaffeinated alternatives. This approach ensures the delicate balance between enjoying a comforting beverage and maintaining an environment conducive to IVF success.


Amir, B. Y., Yaacov, B., Guy, B., Gad, P., Itzhak, W., & Gal, I. (2005). Headaches in women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo‐transfer treatment. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain45(3), 215-219.

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