Fertility Drugs Are a Crutch


Pregnant After years of fretting to prevent pregnancy, when women finally decide they want a baby, they often can't wait. They're so excited to embrace motherhood that if it doesn't happen right away and the months go by and failed pregnancy tests pile up, a certain degree of panic may start setting in.

Thoughts of infertility and a childless future may prompt research into fertility drugs and a host of other treatments. Women may self-diagnose and walk into a doctor begging for a little Clomid or just an IUI to try.

I've even known women who have fibbed or even flat-out lied to their doctor about how long they've been trying to so they can get that prescription.

Understandable? Absolutely.

Wise? Not really.

While fertility drugs and treatments are amazing options that have provided countless couples with children they likely would never have had without them, they can also be a crutch. A crutch with risks.

For example, multiple pregnancies are much more common with fertility assistance -- as many as 20 percent of women conceive multiples with some drugs. And multiples are at a higher risk for premature birth, need for c-sections, and host of other complications.

Other studies have shown the risk of autism is almost double in children whose mothers took fertility drugs. Another found women who take Clomid are at an increased risk of thyroid cancer. There are many more where those came from.

This isn't to freak out mothers who are pregnant after taking fertility drugs or scare anyone who may need their help in achieving pregnancy -- most will be just fine. Even the risk for some of the "major" infertility treatments like IVF are statistically small.

But it's important to realize that drugs and surgeries aren't without risk, and if you can avoid them, it's in your best interest as well as that of your future children.

A new website, FertilityFlower.com, is designed to help women conceive naturally.

It helps women chart their temperatures and other fertility symptoms (like cervical fluid and cervical position) and uses some cool technology to show members when they're most fertile.

Of course, you can chart these things on your own, and many women do, but this analyzes all the different components and provides women with the best time to try and get pregnant right there on your computer screen.

If you do choose to go this route, it's not as simple as popping a few pills. It takes a lot of commitment and patience, but if it works, the avoidance of medical intervention is worth it.

And if not, the doctors and drugs will always be there.

Have you or anyone you've known rushed to fertility drugs and procedures instead of giving Mother Nature adequate time?

Image via rockerchic

complications, infertility, is it safe, tests & procedures, twins & multiples


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Miss.... Miss.Cullen

You spelt the name to the link wrong... It's fertilityflower.com

RanaA... RanaAurora

Okay, I've got two different things to say:

#1. The majority of people's problems trying to conceive is lack of understanding of their own body. If you're TTC, do you know how long your cycle is, do you track ovulation by charting cervical mucous and taking your BBT (basal body temperature) and having sex within the few days before ovulation?

If not, the reason you're not conceiving is because you have no clue what you're doing, pretty much. Trying to conceive by randomly having sex and hoping it's the right time is just silly. If you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and actually chart, not only will you know EXACTLY when you can get pregnant, but you can even tell if you AREN'T ovulating -- and THAT would certainly be a good reason to see a doctor for drugs.  It's pretty much like your website there, but people REALLY need to be more educated in their bodies, which is where the book comes in.

RanaA... RanaAurora


#2. I don't hold it against anyone who uses them, because let's face it -- sometimes life works weird. Sometimes you're going to get married later in life. As long as people realize they definitely can get pregnant with multiples and are ready for that, I don't really take issue. I wish more people would utilize #1, but drugs have it's place when #1 isn't working (though everyone I know without medical problems has conceived in less than 5 months using #1).

It's not really for me, as I actually have feelings of guilt for having my own biological children when there's kids out there I could have adopted, but still. *shrug*  Eh.

nonmember avatar Cassandra

I know you are specifically pointing out that women shouldn't RUSH to use drugs or intervention and that there are other options. I know this. But as someone who tried natural methods for EIGHT YEARS, the way this is presented is rather insulting, like those of us who do choose intervention after years and years of patience and commitment just aren't TRYING hard enough. Compassion, please, for those that didn't use drugs, etc, as clutches but as necessary treatments.

Ulrike Klein

It's often about instant gratification, isn't it.

Julie... Julieryanevans

Cassandra, sorry if it comes off as insensitve. As someone who battled many, many years of infertility that certainly wasn't my intent. But I do think it's an easy option that many may turn to too quickly because they want a baby so badly.

lolab... lolabelle2010

After TTC for a year after a miscarriage I went to my doc. I had been using fertilityfriend and was charting my temps, charting my CM (cervical mucus), using OPK's..nothing worked. So when I went to my doc and told him all that I had been doing what did he say? That it was all pointless, that anything and everything can change your temps and CM (cold, eating certain foods, not enough sleep, stress...etc). He said that the ONLY thing that he would recommend over the counter were OPK's. He took some blood and found out I had a pituitary disorder which was keeping me from ovulating. He was up front with me about clomid- there could be multiples- it could take a while- it may not work at all. After taking the thyroid meds for 3months, using OPK's, and then adding the clomid for one month I got pregnant with our son. He is now 6months old and the most amazing little guy! I don't think that people should judge others for their decisions. Do people probably overuse fertility meds? Sure. But I would say that there are more people that truly need help. Perhaps instead of telling people to chart and temp (stuff that I have obviously done plenty of) perhaps women should be told to go for a preconception appointment. They could get some blood tests and let them know for sure that they are healthy and shouldn't have anything standing in their way.I felt really frustrated that I had wasted all of that time and money trying to get pregnant when it had been impossible the entire time!

Erin1108 Erin1108

Charting and temping is great for those without medical problems. I do agree that this is the best course of action. In fact, I wish that I could do that, but without fertility meds, I don't have a chance in knowing when I ovulate or if I ovulate. With PCOS, three miscarriages, and a whole list of other problems, I had to seek fertility treatments. But I do agree with the original post. Many women rush into Clomid, IUIs, etc. without trying naturally and without asking for some testing. The flip side is that many doctors rush into prescribing fertility meds without testing. Can't ovulate on your own? Here's some Clomid! Slightly low sperm count? Have an IUI! Instead of finding out the underlying conditions such as thyroid disorders, PCOS, etc.

Erin1108 Erin1108

There are also many natural ways to increase sperm count. My DH has low sperm count, and the only things he did was to change from briefs to boxers and stopped taking hot baths and showers. Now, he's considered in the normal range. One last rant are the doctors who prescribe Clomid without performing an HSG first. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it can be very uncomfortable (I cried). But, if you have blocked tubes (or even partially blocked tubes), then what good does it do to ovulate if the egg can't get where it needs to go? If a woman has partially blocked tubes, this leads to an increase in ectopic pregnancies. My friend had 6 round of Clomid before they gave her an HSG, only to realize she had completely blocked tubes. It's also irresponsible to give a patient more than 6 rounds of Clomid in their lifetime, as every round of Clomid or other ovulation-induction medicine can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Ok, I guess that was my last rant. I am all for fertility treatments if a person really needs them. I need them. In order for me to get pregnant and stay pregnant, I need lots of shots and medicines. So, before you ask for Clomid, ask questions. Do your own research. Don't depend on a doctor to tell you what is best for you. And if a doctor suggests Clomid without an HSG, demand one. Even if it's clear, that's one less thing to worry about.

RanaA... RanaAurora

lalabelle, that's a doctor who doesn't have any clue what he's talking about. You'd have to not understand it AT ALL to say something that ridiculous.

Pick up that book.

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