While being pregnant is one of every woman’s dreams, not all are given a chance to bear a life inside them. Not being able to get pregnant might be because you have PCOS or just an unexplained fertility. However, there are several ways as well as medication to help you have a baby of your own.
When you try to get pregnant, you may notice a prescription of your doctor with a medicine called Femara, with a generic name of Letrozole. Initially, Letrozole was used for treating women diagnosed with PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS is a condition in which women are ovulating irregularly or sometimes may don’t ovulate at all. Aside from that, Letrozole is being used as an infertility treatment as it was recently added to the list of drugs that can be used for fertility treatment.
Using Letrozole for fertility treatment can help in two situations. One is that this drug can be used to induce an egg to develop and be released in women who are not ovulating on their own or simply known as ovulation induction. Another one is that Letrozole can be used to help women who are already ovulating increase their chances of getting pregnant. This situation is simple known as superovulation.
As said, Letrozole is sold under the brand name of Femara. Femara is preferred by most reproductive specialist compared to other medications because the drug does not have negative effects in the uterine lining. However, as Femara is originally created to help in the treatment of breast cancer and this drug belongs to the class of medications known as the aromatase inhibitors. Because of this the medication actually carries some side effects and below is some of those.
- Decrease in Estrogen Levels. A specialist and associate clinical professor at the University of Illinois, School of Medicine has stated that Femara lowers the amount of estrogen levels of a woman’s body. When used as a fertility treatment, Femara is only prescribed for five days at the start of a woman’s cycle. This prescription of fertility treatment helps in lessening the chances of having the estrogen levels decrease. Also, when taking this medication, some women may experience hot flashes, headaches, and breast tenderness.
- Possibility of Birth Defects. The amount of time that it takes to actually clear the bloodstream from the medication is short compared to the time it was taken as directed. Traces of the medication shouldn’t be in a woman’s body when egg fertilization occurs and thus decreasing the chances of any adverse effects on the embryo. In some cases where the woman becomes unknowingly pregnant at the time where Femara was taken, birth defects may possibly occur. This is the main reason why most fertility clinics perform an ultrasound and a pregnancy test before actually prescribing the patient to take Femara.
- Multiple Pregnancies. Since Femara is a medication taken to actually cause or increase an ovulation, there are cases in which risks of causing more than one egg to be released at the same time. It has been said by Georgia Reproductive Specialists that those women who take Femara to actually get pregnant have as such as 10 percent chance of having twins. Triplets are rare however with one possibility in 400 births as well as having quadruplets which has one possibility in 800 births.
- Risk to Ovarian Cysts. Because taking Femara helps in the ovarian stimulation, there is a rare possibility for a woman to develop ovarian cysts when under medication or after. An ovarian cyst is a generation of liquid inside the ovary and may occur when there are one or more eggs that matures but was not able to be released into the fallopian tubes. In some fertility treatments, having ovarian cysts is common. This is rare with Femara, but still, chances are there.
- Other Side Effects. Aside from those mentioned above, there are some minor effects that those who take Femara have observed. This includes upsetting of stomach and intestines, dizziness, sweating, swelling, difficulty in sleeping, abdominal pain, allergic reactions, and chest pain. When you observe any of these side effects, you should have a talk with your physician or other medical provider. Also, other side effects that can be observed should be discussed too.
With all these being discussed, do not be afraid to talk to your physician about your infertility issues. Keep in mind that these side effects do not happen for every woman under the medication of Femara. To add, studies conducted so far do not have any significant effect on the rate of miscarriage risk of the women under medication of Femara. Therefore, it is safe to say that treating infertility by the drug Femara will not increase or contribute to the miscarriage risk of a pregnant woman.