Commonly Prescribed Fertility Drugs
When you are battling infertility or trying to conceive, you will become familiar with quite a few different fertility drugs. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most commonly prescribed ones.
Definitely the most popular fertility drug on the market, Clomid is very successful and has been in use for more than 25 years. It is a drug that stimulates ovulation in women who have trouble ovulating for a wide variety of reasons.
It is effective in stimulating ovulation in 80 percent of the women who take it, and of those women, around 40 to 50 percent will become pregnant as a result of taking the drug. Clomid works by blocking estrogen receptors in the body, and by doing that, “tricks” the body into releasing LH and FSH, which in turn prompts ovulation.
This oral medication is very affordable as well as effective, making it a popular choice for women who are trying to conceive. For these reasons, Clomid is usually the first choice of doctors when it comes to treating infertility.
When Clomid or other oral medications do not work to stimulate ovulation, doctors sometimes turn to something called Gonadotropins. Gonadotropins are injectable drugs that are synthetic forms of hormones, usually FSH or LH.
Gonadotropins are much more potent than oral fertility drugs. These drugs are only given by injection, since orally they would not work, because they are inactivated by the intestinal tract of the body.
Gonadotropins are most often used in conjunction with assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF or IUI. Keep in mind that although gonadotropins are more potent, they are also more expensive and have more side effects as well.
Sometimes, drugs need to be used for an “off label” purpose, or something other than what they are commonly prescribed for. One such drug is Metformin.
Metformin is usually prescribed for diabetic patients who have trouble regulating their insulin levels. However, it sometimes works for patients who suffer from PCOS as well.
This is because in PCOS patients, there is usually a higher than normal level of insulin. This higher level of insulin leads to more androgens, or male hormones, in the body.
This can lead to problems with ovulation and in turn, getting pregnant. This is why women with PCOS can benefit from Metformin, because it helps to regulate those insulin levels. Some doctors recommend that their PCOS patients take Metformin even though it is a drug that is usually used for diabetic patients.
Ms. Belanger has 20 years of experience in women's healthcare and nursing, including labor and delivery, postpartum and antenatal. She is passionate toward improving both maternal and fetal outcomes of high-risk obstetrics patients.
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