Fertility Meds and Supplements
From Fertility Blend to Clomid and Beyond
Visit any TTC chat board and you will see that clomid is the most well-know fertility drug. That’s because clomid is typically the first drug prescribed to deal with infertility or subfertility (subfertility: failure to conceive after 12 months of trying). Clomid is used for the induction of ovulation, and frequently for women with disorders like PCOS and anovulation (anovulation: absence of ovulation or failure to ovulate). Please note that while clomid is among the most “popular” and most prescribed fertility meds, this does not mean it is for everyone! Only women with specific symptoms and/or disorders should take clomid, as indicated by a doctor.
Clomid works through a complex interaction of brain chemistry and glandular hormone production. In short, clomid induces ovulation by affecting the brain/pituitary gland and by impacting key reproductive hormones that facilitate ovulation. Clomid works through the following contiguous steps (though this is a bit oversimplified):
- Clomid is taken early in the cycle as prescribed by your doctor.
- Clomid sends a message to the brain that estrogen levels are low.
- This causes the brain to release more GnRH, a hormone.
- This tells the pituitary gland to make the hormone follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
- FSH stimulates the development/maturation of the follicle or egg. LH is the hormone that facilitates ovulation.
- Ovulation is the release of the egg: Hence, clomid “induces” ovulation.
As clomid affects the level of luteinizing hormone in your system, if you start testing too early in your cycle with a urine ovulation test (which detects LH levels), you run the risk of receiving a false positive. Hence, take care to begin testing at the correct time for ovulation. Our instructions pages provide an ovulation timing chart. Your doctor can assist you with this.
Other Fertility Drugs
Categorized in two classes, oral or injectible, clomid falls under the first label of oral drug – another reason for its popularity. The second category is injectible drugs – or the gonadotropins (PergonalR, HumegonR, RepronexR, FollistimR, Gonal-FR ). These fertility medication are designed to the promote the development of a multiplicity of follicles in the ovary during each cycle. Follistim is used to stimulate a follicle (egg or ovum) to develop and mature. Metaformin is used as a treatment for PCOS (PCOS: polycystic ovarian syndrome) and/or anovulation. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of infertility. Women with PCOS fail to ovulate regularly, and exhibit irregular or non-existent menstrual cycles. Note: This is a simple adumbration of common fertility meds and how they work.
FertilAid for Women and Fertility Blend for Women offer a non-prescription nutritional-herbal option. Offering both a men’s and women’s formula the products are designed by medical professionals and nutritionists, with proprietary vitamins/herbal formulas validated by clinical studies. Both FertilAid and Fertilityblend for women contain vitex. Both FertilAid and Fertilityblend contain the amino acid L-Carnitine.
- Chastetree berry (Vitex agnus castus): Stimulates luteinizing hormone, which promotes ovulation (see above). Vitex may help restore normal periods and promote ovulation and hormonal balance. It may prove useful for women with amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstrual periods.
- Red clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense): This fertility promoter is rich in isoflavones, estrogenlike compounds.
- L-Carnitine (an amino acid in FertilAid and Fertility Blend men’s formulas) plays a powerful role in the process of sperm formation, sperm maturation, and sperm energy metabolism following ejaculation.
As the makers of FertilAid and Fertility Blend indicate, do not take any herbal fertility medications while you are pregnant or breastfeeding or using prescription fertility medications. If you are interesting in Evening Primrose Oil and cervical mucus, read about EPO.