Fertility pills: Clomid, Tamoxifen and Letrozole

By: Dr. Susan Wolf

Often taking fertility pills is one of the first options for treating couples with infertility, especially if you have irregular cycles. Sometimes you regular gynecologist will give you a prescription for 3 months of pills and have you see how it goes. If you are not pregnant in 3 months, they may then refer you to a fertility specialist.

Fertility pills are typically taken for 5 days of the month. They work by making your brain think that there is no estrogen around and so your brain sends increased signals to your ovary. If you don’t have regular periods, the idea is to develop an egg. The egg grows in a small cyst in the ovary called a follicle. If you are someone who does ovulate regularly, the oral fertility medications are given in the hopes to make a “better” follicle. This better follicle produces more hormones to help the lining prepare for implantation of an embryo. If you react to the medication by making more than one follicle, then you make conceive twins and rarely triplets.

In addition to the multiple births, the side effects from taking oral fertility medications include changes to the cervical mucus. That is why we most often combine the treatment with an intrauterine insemination (washing the sperm and inserting a thin tube into the uterine cavity). Urine ovulation kits tend not to be as accurate in women taking fertility pills. You may get a false positive or not pick up a true surge when you are on the medication. To time the insemination properly, we most often monitor patients with ultrasound and occasional blood testing. When a mature egg is identified, patients take one dose of an injection medication to insure the timing of ovulation (release of the egg) and insemination.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Encouraging Facts About IVF

Have you had trouble conceiving? Or are you desiring to become pregnant without a partner or with a same-sex partner? In vitro fertilization (IVF) could be right for you. Read on to learn more.

Timing Your Egg-Freezing Process: Factors to Keep in Mind

Whether you’re worried about your fertility declining as you age or are younger but have a health risk that could prevent pregnancy later, freezing your eggs can prove a viable solution. Read on to learn about timing your egg-freezing process.

5 Common Causes of Abnormal Periods

It’s not unusual to have a late or heavy period once in a while, but if your menstrual cycle is consistently abnormal or painful, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor. Read on to learn the 5 common causes of abnormal periods.

Talking to Your Partner About Fertility Issues

Infertility can be a sensitive subject to talk about, even with your partner. However, if you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to conceive, it might be time to sit down and discuss your options. Read on to learn more.

What's Involved With IVF?

If you have experienced problems with conception and aren’t able to have a child on your own, in vitro fertilization (IVF) might be the best path forward. Read on to learn more.