Many people begin dreaming of the day they’ll have children from the time they’re a child themselves. Unfortunately, not everybody who has that dream can easily make it a reality. In fact, among women aged 15-49 years old in the United States, roughly 20% don’t get pregnant within a year of trying to. Those who do get pregnant still have up to a 25% chance of not carrying the baby to term, which is known as impaired fecundity. Infertility is a uniquely emotional experience, but there are options, such as tracking with a fertility testing kit, to help you navigate the problem and, hopefully, fulfill your dream of becoming a parent.
What Are Fertility Pills?
There is a wide range of fertility drugs on the market, some of which come in pill form. Of these pills, some are made specifically for infertility while others are made to treat underlying causes that could lead to having trouble getting pregnant. They include:
- Clomiphene Citrate – This is typically the first option for women who are younger than 40 and haven’t been diagnosed with PCOS. When taken, the pituitary gland releases more LH and FSH, which helps to stimulate the ovarian follicle and bring on ovulation.
- Bromocriptine – This pill is sometimes used if the woman having trouble ovulating produces too much prolactin.
- Letrozole – This pill is an aromatase inhibitor that works much like clomiphene. It’s commonly prescribed to women who are under 40 and have PCOS.
- Metformin – Metformin improves insulin resistance, which may make it easier for ovulation to occur.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fertility Pills?
Just like any type of medical treatment, there are advantages and disadvantages to taking fertility pills. Obviously, the biggest advantage is that you may be able to become pregnant and carry to term. Some pills have added advantages, though. Consider Letrozole as an example. Many fertility treatments can lead to multiples. If you do not want multiples, studies show that Letrozole has a lower risk of you conceiving more than one baby at a time.
There are some disadvantages to consider as well, though, mostly in terms of other side effects. For example, Clomid may increase your chances of conceiving multiples; may cause ovarian cysts; and can lead to vaginal dryness, fatigue, mood swings, and abdominal discomfort. Letrozole may cause hair loss, hot flashes, joint pain, or trouble sleeping. Of course, understanding the pros and cons is important, but they’re also subjective since every person’s journey is different.
When Do Results Happen?
The amount of time it takes fertility medication to work varies from person to person. Clomiphene, the most common fertility pill, generally jump-starts the ovulation process about seven days after your last dose. When you do start to ovulate, you may continue taking the medicine for about six months. If you don’t get pregnant within that time, your doctor will likely have you try another medication. About half of the people who take Clomiphene do become pregnant and most of those are within three cycles. You can find more information about how long fertility treatments take when you search “how long after LH surge do you ovulate.”
What Kind of Support Are You Looking For?
Fertility treatment is a deeply personal experience and no two people have the same one. Consider what type of support you need, such as a fertility test for couples, and then talk to your doctor about your options. Remember, never take fertility treatments without being under a doctor’s care.