If you haven’t been able to get pregnant for a year (or longer, if you’re like me!), you may be thinking about possible fertility problems. Here are four prescription drug treatments for female infertility; my next article will cover four surgical treatments for fertility problems for women.
Before the tips, here’s what Dr Miriam Stoppard says about getting pregnant:
“If a woman isn’t ovulating, her ovaries can nearly always be encouraged to produce good-quality eggs by using fertility drugs,” writes Dr Stoppard in Conception, Pregnancy, & Birth. “These drug treatments used to produce a large number of multiple pregnancies, but much more is now known about the correct dosage, and treatment is very carefully controlled and monitored.”
She wrote “the childbirth bible for today’s parents” – click Conception, Pregnancy, & Birth for more info. And, read on for four ways to get pregnant for women who are having trouble conceiving…
4 Drug Treatments for Female Infertility
Clomiphene – the Fertility Drug. I took clomiphene, my friend took clomiphine, and my sister-in-law took clomiphene! Not surprisingly, it’s the most common fertility drug for women who can’t get pregnant. You take it for five days at the beginning of your menstrual cycle; it stimulates the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which acts on the ovaries. Clomiphene can help follicles ripen and stimulate ovulation. There aren’t any major side effects to this fertility drug (though I had night sweats and hot flashes), and it has a low multiple pregnancy rate. Dr Stoppard says there’s a possible link with ovarian cancer after 12 cycles, so don’t go overboard!
FSH Hormone for Clomiphene-Resistant PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect female fertility, and alter the effects of Clomiphene. However, injections of the hormone FSH can stimulate ovulation if Clomiphene doesn’t work because of PCOS. The success rates for this treatment for female infertility are high.
Pulsatile GnRH. “Hypothalamic infertility with amenorrhea is a rare cause of infertility resulting from the absence of a hormone called gonadotrophin releasing factor (GnRH), which is made in the hypothalamus,” writes Dr Stoppard. She explains that GnRH forces the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone, which stimulates the ovaries to ovulate. If a GnRH deficiency is a cause of female infertility, then hormone replacements can help with pregnancy.
Bromocriptine. Prolactin is a hormone that can suppress the effects of GnRH, which can cause lack of ovulation and prevent women from getting pregnant. Bromocriptine, Cabergoline, or quinagolide can suppress prolactin production and get the ovaries producing eggs again. “If a woman does get pregnant,” writes Dr Stoppard, “bromocriptine treatment should be stopped, but there are no known cases of miscarriage, prematurity, fetal abnormalities, or multiple pregnancies as a result of this drug.”
By the way, Dr Stoppard says that weight loss can help women ovulate normally — even women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Even weight loss as little as 5% can be helpful in improving the metabolic and reproductive abnormalities of PCOS.
If you want to get pregnant, you need to talk to your doctor about each of these drug treatments for female infertility.