Fertility medications are often prescribed to women to help regulate their menstrual cycles, induce ovulation, and increase the chances of achieving pregnancy.
These medications are typically used for specific indications and include:
- Clomid: Clomiphene citrate is an oral medication that has been used to treat infertility for over 40 years. It works by stimulating the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates ovaries to grow follicles and ovulate one or more mature eggs.
- Letrozole: Letrozole (Femara) is another oral medication that is used to treat infertility. It works by blocking the production of estrogen, which in turn signals the pituitary gland to release more FSH. This helps to stimulate the ovaries to ovulate one or more eggs.
- Gonadotropins: Gonadotropins are injectable medications that are biologically equivalent to FSH and LH (luteinizing hormone) from your brain. These hormones act directly on your ovary to recruit stimulate follicle development.
- Estrogen and Progesterone: Hormone replacement therapy may be used to help prepare the uterine lining for implantation or to help maintain a pregnancy.
The primary indications for oral fertility medications include:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common condition in which hormonal imbalances can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and anovulation (lack of ovulation). Oral fertility medications, such as Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and Letrozole (Femara), are frequently prescribed to induce ovulation in women with PCOS.
- Unexplained Infertility: In cases where the cause of infertility is not identified despite thorough evaluation, fertility specialists may prescribe oral medications like Clomid or Letrozole to improve ovulation and increase the chances of conception.
- Anovulation: Women who do not ovulate regularly or at all may be prescribed oral fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. Conditions causing anovulation may include PCOS, hypothalamic amenorrhea, high prolactin, or other hormonal imbalances.
- Luteal Phase Defect: A short luteal phase can interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg. In such cases, oral medications like Clomid or Letrozole may help promote follicle development and increase the chances of successful implantation. Other hormones like estrogen and progesterone may also be used to support the luteal phase.
- Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Supplemental progesterone is often given after ovulation for those with a history of recurrent miscarriage.
- Thin Endometrial Lining: An insufficient endometrial lining thickness can hinder implantation. Oral medications like estrogen supplements may be prescribed to thicken the uterine lining during fertility treatments including timed intercourse, IUI and IVF.
- Embryo Transfer Preparation: We may use Clomid or Letrozole to prepare the uterine lining for a modified natural cycle embryo transfer.
Oral and injectable fertility medications can increase your risk of having twins or triplets. If you are concerned about multiple births, talk to your doctor about your options.
Contact us today to discuss your history and decide if fertility medications are right for you.