Ovulation induction and risk of endometrial cancer: A pilot study

Abraham Benshushan*, Ora Paltiel, Amnon Brzezinski, Vasilius Tanos, Micha Barchana, Orly Shoshani, Lois Gordon, Lilach Tsur, Joseph G. Schenker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether women with endometrial carcinoma are more likely to have been exposed to fertility drugs, in particular clomiphene, than healthy population controls. Study design: A nationwide case-control, pilot study. About 128 living women 35-64 years old, with a histologicaly confirmed diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma that was first diagnosed and reported to The Israel Cancer Registry between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 1992 were enrolled. The controls were 255 women from the same dialing areas selected by random digit dialing. A variety of demographic and clinical parameters were compared between cases and controls. A multivariate logistic model, controlling for age, was used to assess the independent effects of factors found to be significantly associated with endometrial cancer on univariate analysis. Results: About 7 women with endometrial carcinoma (5.5%) and 10 healthy controls (3.9%) reported that they had used any fertility drug (crude odds ratio (OR) 1.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47-4.2). Use of fertility drugs did not meet the criteria for entry into the logistic model. The following parameters were found to be independently associated with endometrial cancer controlling for age, European-American background OR = 2.2, (95% CI 1.3-3.7, P = 0.004); nulliparity OR = 2.7 (95% CI 1.1-6.5, P = 0.03); history of infertility OR = 1.8 (95% CI 1.0-3.3, P = 0.05); BMI ≥ 27 OR = 2.3 (95% CI 1.4-3.9, P = 0.001). The use of oral contraceptives and IUD were found to be protective, OR = 0.29 and 0.37, respectively, (95% CI 0.14-0.61, P = 0.001 and 0.19-0.70, P = 0.003, respectively). Conclusions: We found no evidence that the use of ovulation induction agents, including clomiphene citrate, are associated with a higher risk of endometrial carcinoma. The association between infertility drugs and endometrial carcinoma should be examined in other, larger studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by a grant from The Joint Research Fund of the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center, and also by The Ministry of Health, Chief Scientist Office.


  • Case-control study
  • Clomiphene
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Infertility
  • Ovulation induction


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