As a couple, when you have been trying to conceive, finding out there is a complication can be incredibly disheartening. However, just because the road is difficult doesn’t mean you should give up. There are plenty of medications, and pharmaceuticals on the market that can be a treatment for infertility and its causes.
This medication, better known by the brand names Clomid and Serophene, is one of the most commonly used medications used to treat infertility in women. Clomiphene citrate works by blocking the estrogen receptors in a woman’s hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. This stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more egg-developing hormones, like gonadotropins, in the ovaries.
Studies on the drug have shown that 72% of women who take clomiphene will ovulate and produce at least one egg. It has also been shown that the higher the dosage of clomiphene, the higher the chance of ovulating and producing and egg.
Side Effects of Clomiphene
While clomiphene has a great track record of helping women struggling with conception, it can have a few unpleasant side effects. Six percent of women taking clomiphene will experience symptoms like blurred vision, nausea, pelvic pain, weight gain, and breast discomfort. The two most common side effects of clomiphene are hot flashes and headaches, which affect approximately 10% of women.
If taking clomid isn’t boosting fertility, many doctors will recommend an injection of hormones. Some are administered into the skin like a regular shot while others are injected directly in the muscle. Hormones that are often used include human chorionic gonadotropin, follicle-stimulating hormone, or human menopausal gonadotropin. These can be taken alone, or administered in conjunction with another fertility drug, like clomiphene.
The injections are typically administered on the second or third day of a woman’s cycle and continue for the next 7-12 days. The success rate for hormone injections is very high in women who do begin to ovulate, with pregnancies reported as the end result around 50% of the time.
Side Effects of Injections
Many of the side effects associated with hormone injections are mild. Patients may experience tenderness, infection, bruising, and swelling at the site of the injection. Ovarian hyperstimulation, which causes the ovaries to swell and become tender, is also a possible side effect of hormone injections.
Risks of Fertility Drugs
Previously, it was believed that in vitro fertilization (IVF) was the most common cause of multiple births, but recent studies show that fertility drugs actually play a large role in births of this nature. Having twins, triplets, or more is extremely common among women on fertility drugs.
There are many methods doctors can try to help couples conceive, and fertility drugs are usually what they turn to first. If you are having trouble conceiving and are interested in learning more about your fertility treatment options, consult with your health care professional first. For more information on family planning and at home fertility, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below.