First of all, what is fertility?
Fertility is someone’s natural ability to conceive or produce conception. When someone has infertility, it is a condition of the reproductive system that stops the conception of children. Infertility can be found in both males and females and there are also unknown causes as well. Some couples may seek medical help if they are not able to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. A large percentage of infertility can be treated with drug treatment or surgical repair of reproductive organs.
There are different fertility tests which might include ovulation testing, hormone testing, imaging tests, and other tests as well. Medications that stimulate or regulate ovulation are identified as fertility drugs. Fertility drugs are the main treatment for women that are infertile because of ovulation disorders. For the most part fertility drugs work like natural hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone also known as FSH and luteinizing hormone also known as LH to cause ovulation. They are also used in women that ovulate to try to stimulate an improved egg or an extra egg or eggs.
Fertility drugs can include clomiphene citrate which is a medication taken by mouth and stimulates ovulation by causing the pituitary gland to issue more FSH and LH. This medication is usually one of the first kind of treatments for women that are younger than 39 and do not have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There is also medication called Gonadotropins that are injected treatments to stimulate the ovary to make multiple eggs. A type of gonadotropin, which is called human chorionic gonadotropin, is used to mature the eggs, and cause their release at the stage of ovulation. There are concerns with this medication because there is a higher risk of conceiving multiples and someone having a premature delivery with gonadotropin use.
Also, see our blog about understanding Birth Control Pills
Fertility drugs carry some risks such as previously mentions pregnancy with multiples, ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, and long-term risks of ovarian tumors. Many studies that exist of women using fertility drugs indicate that there are few if any risks. However, there are some studies that suggest that women who take fertility drugs for 12 months or more and do not have a successful pregnancy may be at an increased risk of borderline ovarian tumors later in life.
Always make an appointment with a health care provider when you have questions about fertility, medications, and options for your own personal health journey.