About 10 percent of women in the United States have trouble getting pregnant, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the first things that your doctor will do if you have fertility problems is prescribe drugs that increase your chances of fertility. By using fertility drugs, many couples are able to conceive the child they’ve been longing for.
Getting pregnant relies on timing your intercourse so that the sperm can fertilize a newly released egg. Unfortunately, many women don’t ovulate regularly or don’t ovulate at all, making it difficult to know when to have sex. Fertility drugs help support the ovaries, causing ovulation through a variety of ways. Knowing that you’ll ovulate, you can then try to get pregnant.
Clomiphene citrate–under the brand names Clomid and Serophene–is one of the first fertility drugs that your doctor is likely to try. This comes in pill form. Your doctor may also prescribe injectable fertility drugs, like human chorionic gonadotropin, follicle-stimulating hormone, human menopausal gonadotropin or gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which he’ll often use in conjunction with clomiphene. Additionally, your doctor may suggest aspirin or heparin, which can reduce the chances of miscarriage.
Most of the side effects of fertility drugs are mild. They include hot flashes, nausea and problems with vision. You may also experience pre-menstrual-like symptoms, such as bloating, cramping or breast tenderness. There have been some concerns that fertility drugs increase the chances of ovarian cancer, but more study is needed on this connection.
A healthy, fertile woman may not get pregnant on her first attempt. Most doctors suggest that you try to conceive for at least a year before coming to them for fertility issues, though you may visit sooner if you are over 35 or if you know that you have an illness that prohibits ovulation, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Your doctor will then give you a fertility check-up to determine if fertility drugs may help your problems. If you are having fertility problems based on problems with your uterus or fallopian tubes, you may not be eligible for fertility drugs, which your doctor uses to treat problems with ovulation.
When taking fertility drugs, there is an increased chance of having multiple births. The chances are higher when you use injectable fertility drugs.
- pregnant woman image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com