We’ve talked about fertility drugs in a couple of our most recent posts about assisted reproductive treatments, though only briefly. But because fertility drugs have such a strong presence in the world of conception, they certainly deserve a bit more attention. In fact, the number of infertility cases in the U.S. that are treated with drugs or with surgical procedures is staggering – between 85-90%
Because fertility drugs seem to be a popular conception aid for couples who need help starting a family, we feel it’s important to talk more about this method. What exactly are these fertility drugs, and what do they do?
What Do Fertility Drugs Do?
Fertility drugs are designed to stimulate the hormones in a woman’s body that help trigger ovulation. Because of this, they are typically used to assist women who experience ovulation issues, or simply need help regulating their ovulation cycle. The drugs are either taken orally, or can be injected. They can also be used both in conjunction with assisted reproductive treatments, or simply on their own. A couple of the most common drugs include clomiphene citrate or gonadotropin.
It is worth noting, however, that fertility drugs carry significant side effects. Some medications carry risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, Ectopic Pregnancies, and even cancer in extreme cases. One of the more common options, clomiphene citrate, can create bloating, nausea, dizziness, hot flashes, blurred vision, and headaches in women who take it. Fertility drugs can also increase the chances of a multiple pregnancy – meaning, she develops two or more fetuses.
How Effective Are Fertility Drugs?
When it comes to measuring effectiveness of fertility drugs, many sources tend to focus on the high percentage of women who ovulate as a result of them – which, in the case of clomiphene citrate, is around 60-80%. However, of that percentage of women who achieve ovulation, only about half of them are able to get pregnant.
A more recent study illustrated the results a bit better. Researchers who compared several different fertility drugs against one another in women aged 18-40 found that clomiphene citrate earned the best results, but still only achieved a live birth rate of 23%. And in an earlier study that incorporated the use of clomiphene into IUI treatments, experts only found an 11.5% pregnancy rate in women under 35. This percentage also went down as the ages of the women being studied increased.
Overall, the use of fertility drugs certainly has its place in a couple’s conception efforts, particularly for women who experience difficulty ovulating. However, because of their often low success rates alone, they are not always the best solution alone when trying to get pregnant – and perhaps should not always be the first step for couples who need help starting a family.
Instead of springing right for drug therapy or assisted reproductive treatments, start your journey to conception with the help of The Stork OTC. Without needing doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, or harsh drugs, the Stork OTC gives you the opportunity to take control of your fertility.