Fertility drugs can be a successful option for women who encounter difficulty conceiving. They are usually one of the first options doctors recommend for women as the initial stage in a comprehensive infertility treatment plan.
How Do Fertility Drugs Help?
Different fertility drugs help boost a woman’s chances of pregnancy three ways. Some drugs help boost and regulate ovulation. Others directly stimulate the ovarian follicles. Another group of drugs helps regulate hormones to enable the body to maintain the levels necessary to support embryo implantation and a healthy pregnancy.
Encouraging and Regulation Ovulation
The most common medication option offered to women facing infertility is clomiphene citrate. It is issued under the names Clomid and Serophene. It works by blocking estrogen production and initiating production of three other hormones: GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone.) When these three hormone levels increase, your ovaries are more likely to produce eggs.
When you take Clomid or Serophene, you will also monitor your cycle, checking to see if you’ve ovulated by using a basal body temperature thermometer. Usually, women start off with an initial dose of 50 mg, but if ovulation does not occur, the doctor will increase the dosage.
Clomid has a 60 to 80 percent chance of inducing ovulation. Half of women who take it will be able to become pregnant, and it usually takes about three to six cycles.
Direct Stimulation of the Ovary
If clomiphene citrate does not encourage ovulation, you may want to consider injectable drugs. These contain hormones designed to initiate egg production and release, such as GnRH and FSH. You inject them either underneath your skin or into muscle, depending on which type is prescribed.
Women usually begin injecting the drugs on day two of their cycle and continue injecting them daily for up to 12 consecutive days. They may be used in conjunction with oral prescriptions of clomiphene citrate. These fertility drugs are usually successful in initiating ovulation, and about half of women who undergo treatment will become pregnant.
Are There Side Effects and Risks?
As with all medications, fertility drugs pose a unique set of side effects, albeit somewhat mild. Clomid may cause nausea, bloating, headaches and hot flashes. The side effects are also mild with injectable drugs, but can include infection, bruising and swelling at the site of injection, or ovarian hyperstimulation. Both treatments increase your chances of pregnancy, but also that the pregnancy will result in multiple births.
When considering fertility drugs, trust the knowledgeable team at Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center. Get the guidance and advice you need — set up a consultation today.