If you are currently (or considering) taking pills to make you ovulate then you will certainly have a few questions. Are they safe? Am I going to end up having triplets? Are there other options for fertility treatment? Today we are going to discuss the answers to these questions and more in an effort to educate you on the subject so that you can better understand fertility treatment and what happens in general. Are you ready to discuss? Let’s talk first a little about ovulation pills.
While statistically about 10% of all fertility cases prove to be a mystery, for the remaining 90% there are treatments which have been known to help. Various ovulation induction drugs exist that have a known and proven track record and these are prescribed every day. Let’s discuss some specific drugs and types of drugs that are known to help:
- Clomid (Clomiphene) – This is the most commonly prescribed among ovulation induction drugs. It’s been in use since the early 1960’s. An anti-estrogen medication, ironically enough, yet it aids in producing hormones secreted by the pituitary which are conducive to egg production. This is a very effective option, producing successful egg production in 80% of the people who take it with a 40% chance of a following pregnancy. .
- Glucophage (also known as Metformin) – This diabetic medicine has been useful in fertility treatments. This is due to the fact that reducing insulin in a woman’s body can also help to reduce testosterone (which in excess can interfere with normal egg production) . This is a treatment often used for those with polycystic ovary syndrome, either taken daily by itself or in conjunction with a number of other infertility treatments.
- Femara (aka Letrozole) – This is another anti estrogen that can stimulate healthy egg production. Unlike clomid, this has only been prescribed in previous cases for women who have been treated for breast cancer.
- Prolactin reduction medication (Dopamine agonists) – In some cases an excess of prolactin is believed to be contributing in cases of infertility. When this is thought to be the case then the introduction of a dopamine agonist is generally the suggested form of treatment.
- Gonadotropins – Another group of ovulation drugs, gonadotropins can help to stimulate activity within the ovaries when other pills or other means to make you ovulate are failing.
Is this medication all that is required?
That is actually going to be up to your doctor, but generally medication is going to be accompanied with stratagems to increase chances of conception. This can include such tactics as timing intercourse during periods when fertility is considered to at it’s peak, for instance. Other means of assistance such as intrauterine insemination (which involves the placement of healthy sperm through artificial means into the uterus) or fertilizing an egg in advance to then move manually into the uterus are often used as well to better ensure a pregnancy.
Are there any risks involved in using pills to help ovulation?
Pills which are likely to make you ovulate are not without risks, unfortunately, but this is something that you and your doctor can discuss in detail so that you can be prepared to minimize the chance of them occurring Some risks that may be involved with infertility treatments are as follows:
- Twins and Triplets – Common myth is that infertility treatments do work but that you will probably have more babies then you are counting on. There is some truth to this, but not what you’d think. In about a little under 10% of cases of successful infertility twins, triplets, or quintuplets are a risk. This mostly occurs if the mother (or father) was born a twin and generally the highest of the risk factor is the usage of injectable fertility medications. Sometimes adjusting the amounts of the medication can largely minimize this risk factors.
” Tumors may be a risk for those using infertility treatments”
- Ovarian cancer – According to some studies, tumors may be a risk for those using infertility treatments for 12 months or more. This mostly occurs with women who have never had a pregnancy, which may indicate that the root is more physiological than a direct result of the medication. Thankfully, most studies agree that this risk is quite minimal. .
- OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) -Painful and swollen ovaries may occur in conjunction with infertility treatments which are introduced to the body via injection. This is accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloating. Notably, these symptoms will generally pass quickly if they are pre-pregnancy systems. Post pregnancy, they may last a number of weeks but should still go away on their own. More severe cases of this are known but you generally have a very low chance of this. Severe cases of OHSS may include enlarged ovaries, rapid weight gain, and shortness of breath. Again, this is rare, but be sure to discuss this with your physician if you are considering fertility treatments and are concerned with the possibility of OHSS.
Some final words on fertility treatments
Now that we have discussed many of the methods and risks associated with fertility treatments we would like to take a moment to to remind you that these risks are generally minimal. People are prescribed fertility treatments every day and the results are largely successful. If you have been trying to conceive a child and you are worried about the treatments then we urge you most strongly to RELAX. Talk to your doctor about the treatments, their potential side effects, probability of inducing pregnancy, and costs. A consultation can help to ease your fears and can also show you that the child or children that you are hoping to conceive and raise might be closer to entering your immediate future than you previously thought possible.
Now that you know a little more about the treatments you can ask about specific ones that you feel might be most effective for you and who knows? Soon you might be picking out a name for your new child!