What you need to know about over the counter fertility drugs
There are several medications available for both women and men who suffer from low fertility, from over-the-counter fertility drugs to specially blended vitamin supplements. Most fertility drugs are designed to increase sperm count and quality in men; women typically use these drugs to increase or regulate ovulation. Find out about the types, brands and effects of fertility drugs to create a fertility program that suits your goals and respects your health.
Types of Fertility Drugs
Some prescription infertility drugs have been proven to encourage conception, and these are often the initial step in fertility treatment. Clomid and Serophene are anti-estrogen drugs that are designed to stimulate the release of the hormones FSH, LH and GnRH, which in turn will increase egg production in the ovaries. Clomiphene, the active ingredient in these drugs, will lead to ovulation in 60 to 80 percent of cases, and half of those women will get pregnant as a result. The side effects are mild, and the risk of multiple births is relatively low compared to some other treatments.
If the gentle encouragement of clomiphene does not lead to pregnancy, your doctor may recommend hormone injections to further stimulate ovulation. The doses can vary depending on how the drug is used and the side effects are generally mild. However, hormone injections bring an increased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, a condition resulting in tender and enlarged ovaries, and a higher risk of multiple births. The success rate is similar to that of clomiphene, but often these drugs will be taken alongside an assisted fertilization technique such as IVF to increase a couple's chances of conception.
Natural Fertility Drugs
As an alternative to prescription fertility medication, many women turn to natural fertility drugs that consist of vitamins, minerals and herbs. Certain vitamins and minerals that are a necessary part of every diet may also help to improve the egg and sperm quality. For instance, vitamin C has been shown to neutralize toxicity in the sperm, and vitamin E will increase their motility. Zinc is vital for normal sperm formation and increased sperm production.
Some promising fertility herbs to stimulate female reproductive health include evening primrose oil, which helps to produce cervical fluid to help with fertilization, and chasteberry to lengthen the most fertile phase of a woman's cycle. A product called Fertility Blend has been marketed as a daily nutritional supplement; it combines vitamins and herbs for infertility, which increases general wellness and improves fertility. Although natural treatment can be very helpful, there can be severe side effects if these supplements are combined with over-the-counter-medication; research fertility drugs carefully and take precautions to avoid any health complications.
Pregnant or planning a family? Mobile Mom is here to help. We have the tools you need from the friends you trust. Calculate when you’re most fertile, see if you might be pregnant, or get the support you need from other moms with apps by Mobile Mom.