Fertility drugs are usually the first step in treatment for the many infertile couples out in the world. Having a child is no less than a miracle and no one should be made to not enjoy parenthood. This is why we all need to thank the ever progressing science for its development of the many fertility pills to get pregnant. The way the fertility drugs work is that they increase the levels of particular hormones in one’s body which then help in maturing and releasing one or more eggs each month – the phenomenon called ovulation. If one is having problems with ovulation and is facing infertility issues, one’s doctor may prescribe certain medicine to help a woman get pregnant. These medicines are called fertility booster pills and they promote ovulation.
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Factors Leading to Infertility:
Age is not the only factor leading to infertility. Egg quality and quantity, which changes from month to month, and structural complications like blocked fallopian tubes also play a role in leading a woman to infertility. Medical conditions like PCOS can also have an effect on causing infertility among women.
Not every woman’s health and body is the same, so what might work for one woman might not work at all for the other. Some women need to combine the fertility drugs with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) also take other types of fertility drugs to prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy and to prevent the ovaries from releasing the eggs early in the cycle.
Since it depends on the woman who is having trouble getting pregnant as to what medication works for her, it is not easy to guess and it takes a few tries of different drugs to figure out which pill works best for a particular woman. For example, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) usually respond well to clomiphene and some women with PCOS respond well to a combination of clomiphene and metformin. Another example is of women with hyperprolactinemia. These women have too much of the prolactin hormone in their blood, which then interferes with ovulation. Women who suffer from this condition usually depend upon cabergoline or bromocriptine to restore their ovulation.
Like every health issue and every drug, there is always a possibility of some risks and complications to develop. The fertility pills to get pregnant can increase the chance of conceiving multiples. Twins are the most common side-effect of taking fertility booster pills.
A woman’s doctor may have her try one of the standard medications to boost her chances of getting pregnant:
- Clomiphene – It works by stimulating the hormones in one’s brain that trigger an egg (or many) to develop and release from the ovaries.
- Gonadotropins – It stimulates one’s ovaries directly to produce an egg (or many).
The most commonly prescribed fertility pills to get pregnant are the following:
1. Clomid or Serophene
Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) may be prescribed to a woman by one’s doctor if she is not ovulating normally. Clomid has been used in treating infertility issues for more than 40 years. Clomid and Serophene are the estrogen blocking drugs and are the brand names of clomiphene. These drugs cause the pituitary gland and hypothalamus located in one’s brain to release hormones called GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). These hormones stimulate one’s ovaries to make eggs.
How to use it:
The usual starting dose of Clomiphene is 50 milligrams a day for roughly 5 days. One usually takes the first pill on the third, fourth, or fifth day after the period has started. One can expect to start ovulating roughly after 7 days of taking the fertility pill. If ovulation still does not happen, one’s doctor may increase the dosage by 50 milligrams a day each month. Doctors do not recommend taking clomiphene for more than six months. If there are no results even after six months of taking the fertility booster pills, one’s doctor may change the medication. Clomiphene has about a 60-80% rate of positive pregnancies. About 60% to 80% of women who take the clomiphene drug will ovulate and most pregnancies happen within the three cycles.
Like most fertility pills, Clomid raises one’s chance of multiple births. In other words, Clomiphene increases the chances of multiple gestation. About 10% of Clomiphene pregnancies results in twins. However, the miscarriage chances are higher with Clomiphene – about 25%, while the normal rate of miscarriages is about 15%.
Other than that, other side effects are usually mild ranging from hot flashes, nausea, bloating, blurred vision etc. This drug has been used by tens of thousands of women over the past many decades and is considered relatively safe and effective in treating infertility issues.
If one has already tried the fertility pill Clomiphene and the body did not respond well to it, gonadotropin can help one ovulate. Also, if one does not produce enough hormones of FSH and LH, i.e. the hormones needed for ovulation, one’s doctor might prescribe gonadotropin to assist in the ovulation process. Also, if a woman is undergoing treatment for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), the gonadotropin drug can help the woman in producing several eggs for the procedures.
Gonadotropin stimulates the ovaries to produce several eggs instead of only egg per month. Gonadotropin is injected into the muscle or skin of the woman trying to conceive. The injection shot is given almost daily after day two or three of the period. Woman trying to conceive take the shots for seven to twelve days. If one’s ovaries are slow in responding to the medication, one’s doctor may increase the dosage or increase the number of days where the woman needs to take the shots. After the couple of days of taking the shots, the ovarian follicles are monitored by frequent ultrasounds and blood tests. When the follicles are big, the injections stop and one gets a shot of hCG, often called the trigger shot as it tells the follicles to release the eggs. 12 to 36 hours after the trigger shot has been taken, one needs to have sex to conceive. As the egg hooks up with a sperm, there are chances of one getting pregnant.
Like most fertility booster drugs, conceiving multiples is the most common complication of gonadotropin. There is about 30 percent chance of conceiving twins or more if taking gonadotropin. Also, women who take gonadotropin drug occasionally might develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a condition where the ovaries swell and fluid accumulates in the abdomen, or around the heart and lungs. This can cause sudden weight gain, nausea, or diarrhea. One might also notice breast tenderness, bloated abdomen, rashes or swelling at the injection site, or mood swings.
Letrozole is considered an aromatase inhibitor i.e. it initiates the release of FSH which then stimulates the growth of follicles. It acts similar to Clomiphene. However, since it is a new class of fertility drug, it is considered less reliable than Clomiphene to induce ovulation. It does have its share of advantages though. Use of Letrozole does not lead to drying up of the cervical mucus and develops a thicker uterus lining which is better for not having a miscarriage. However, there is still another catch: Letrozole is not FDA approved yet, but the doctors use these drugs at their discretion.
4. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has also been associated with woman’s fertility. It helps in regulating a woman’s luteal phase, which is the length of time calculated from the day a woman ovulates until the time of one’s next cycle. The average luteal phase is 14 days. If one’s luteal phase is short (around 10 days), then one’s body will have a difficult time in maintaining and supporting a pregnancy. And if a woman’s luteal phase is much longer than 14 days (around 20 days), then one is more likely to have a miscarriage even if she becomes pregnant. Thus, getting the luteal phase right is a key step to getting pregnant.
Vitex or Chasteberry is a traditional herbal remedy that is very helpful in balancing female hormones and has shown to increase the length of a short luteal phase. Other main uses of Vitex are to help prevent miscarriage, stimulate the formation of the corpeus luteum, and combat amenorrhea amongst others.
Ovulex is another over the counter fertility drug that is only available online. In Ovulex, the dosage amount of each vitamin is amped up to maximize the chances of a woman conceiving. It is considered a better alternative to the many prenatal vitamins. Ovulex assists in lengthening a woman’s luteal phase, strengthens the uterine walls, and assists in preventing early miscarriages.
7. Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf can be taken in the form of a tablet or can be brewed as tea. It can be found in health food stores. Red raspberry leaf is known as an herbal remedy. It is highly effective in toning the uterus to its optimal condition. Thus, it helps to strengthen the uterus. Because it strengthens the uterus, it ultimately reduces the risk of miscarriages.
Besides these doctor prescribed fertility booster pills, there are many over the counter fertility drugs that are available. Fertility pills at Walmart are readily available as over the counter fertility drugs. Drugs like Premama Fertility Reproductive Support, DreamQuest Pro Creation, etc. are available at Walmart without any prescription, but none of them have any reviews on Walmart’s site, so their advantages and disadvantages are not very openly known. Also, their price range is comparatively very cheap, with them ranging between $15-30 as compared to the prescribed drugs which can go upwards of $1000 plus the doctor visits and blood tests and ultrasounds.
With the rise in the number of women facing infertility issues, there is also a rise in the many fertility booster drugs on the market. There is an apparent understanding of why there is desperation for such fertility drugs but they should still be used with proper guidance from one’s doctor. Desperation can make one do crazy and risky things, but they might cost one’s health. No one would want to be a mother with bad health and some of the drugs might even have a bad effect on the child’s health. There are many over the counter fertility drugs available, but choosing the right one is a priority and of utmost importance for the woman trying to conceive and for the baby who might be born with the help of these fertility drugs.