A Look at 2 of the Most Common Fertility Drugs

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Fertility Drugs are Popular

Fertility drugs are becoming an increasingly popular option for couples that are struggling to conceive. While fertility medications vary on how they are administered and how they cause ovulation, each one is designed to help a woman ovulate. Here is an overview of two of the most common fertility medications used in women.


Background: Clomid may be prescribed under the generic name clomiphene or brand name Serophene. It works by stimulating hormones in the brain that signal a woman’s body to release eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). Clomid is one of the oldest and most well-known fertility drugs, as it has been used successfully for the last 25 years.

Administration: Clomid is administered as a pill to be taken orally with a full glass of water. Most women begin a dosage of 50 milligrams that is taken daily for five days; however, every woman is different and dosages may vary depending upon the woman’s health. Clomid is usually used for six months, and then a new medication may be used if it is not successful.

Effectiveness: Clomid is successful in producing ovulation in approximately 60 to 80 percent of women who take the drug. Around one-half of the women who experience ovulation while taking Clomid will get pregnant.

Side Effects: Women taking Clomid may experience an allergic reaction to the drug, and symptoms include rashes, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face. Some instances of OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) have been reported in women who are taking Clomid. The symptoms of OHSS include weight gain; nausea; stomach pain; swelling of the stomach, hands or legs; and difficulty breathing. Both allergic reactions and symptoms of OHSS should be reported to a health care professional immediately. Less serious side effects include headaches, blurred vision, flushing, diarrhea and breast tenderness. It also increases the chances of a multiple birth. Women should discuss any concerns they have regarding side effects with their doctor.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)

Background: hMG may be prescribed under the brand names Pergonal, Repronex or Humegon. Gonadotropins are usually the next choice for a fertility drug after a woman has taken Clomid and not become pregnant. hMG contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). It works by directly stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs.

Administration: hMG is given through injections. Usually, women will receive injections for a period of seven to twelve days. After this time, they will receive an injection of another hormone that stimulates the release of eggs from the ovaries.

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