Many women of reproductive age find it difficult to become pregnant. In fact, statistical data shows that about 6.7 million U.S. women who are between the ages of 15 and 44 have problems getting pregnant or carrying a child to term. For these women, the primary cause of infertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome. This disorder, which is often abbreviated as "PCOS," is often associated with a lack of menstruation and ovulation. For women with PCOS, the ovaries fail to produce all the hormones needed for an egg to mature and be released. Instead, follicles begin to grow and fill with fluid, forming cysts.
No matter how many times you attempt to get pregnant, your efforts will fail if there is no egg available for fertilization. If you have PCOS, you may experience heightened levels of androgens, which are male hormones, that prevent ovulation. Your gynecologist may prescribe a fertility drug called "clomiphene." Here is what you can expect from the drug:
What is clomiphene?
Clomiphene, or clomiphene citrate, is the main fertility drug used for women with PCOS. The drug, which is often sold under the brand names, "Clomid" and "Serophene," initiates hormonal changes that cause your eggs to mature and be released. Nevertheless, if you take clomiphene, you have a greater chance of becoming pregnant with twins.
When is clomiphene taken?
To induce ovulation, your gynecologist may suggest that you take clomiphene by mouth for five days, beginning on the fifth day of your menstrual cycle. The first day of your cycle would be the day that your menstrual flow starts.
How do you know if it worked?
Ovulation usually occurs about five to ten days after taking the drug. To detect the time of your ovulation, your doctor may suggest temperature charting. To chart, you take your temperature with a thermometer just after you wake up in the morning and record your reading on a daily chart.
After you ovulate, your body temperature increases. However, since this elevation in your temperature occurs between 12 and 24 hours after ovulation, you may be unable to become pregnant after the temperature spike. The egg only remains alive for one day after its release. The temperature spike can be an indication that you ovulated, which means the drug is working. If you had sex during the last few days, pregnancy is a possibility.
Infertility is a common problem for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. If you have this disorder and have been unable to get pregnant, talk to your gynecologist. He or she will be able inform you of your treatment options. Contact a clinic like Desert Rose OBGYN PC for more information.
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