Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quickie

Ok so I have this blog posted in two places - here and Sparkpeople.com. For those who aren't familiar with SparkPeople, you track your food and exercise to help you get skinny (I did it for my wedding and thought it was super great) but also connects you with people from all different backgrounds, all different hobbies, and all different  issues - infertility being one of them.

I have a "follower", if you will, on my blog there and, to date, her attempts to get pregnant have been unsuccessful. In her personal research she has met other women who were encouraged to undergo IVF but before starting the cycle found success with a drug called Clomid. It is designed for people who aren't ovulating but everything else with regard to plumbing is in ship shape. This includes fallopian tubes, availability of eggs, weight, health, etc. So more or less - me.

Since learning this, I have decided to conduct some of my own research to see if I fit the profile.

Clomid is the most well-known fertility drug, probably because it is the most commonly used. About 25% of female factor infertility involves a problem with ovulation, and clomiphene citrate, as a fertility drug, is easy to use (taken as a pill, not an injection (YAY!)), with not too many side effects, is pretty inexpensive compared to other fertility drugs, and is effective in stimulating ovulation 80% of the time.

Clomid is used when there are problems with ovulation, but NO problems with blocked fallopian tubes. It may also be used in cases of unexplained infertility, or when a couple prefers not to use the more expensive and invasive fertility treatments, like IVF. (That's us)
The most common dosage of Clomid is 50 mg, taken for five days, on days 3 through 7 of your cycle, or days 5 through 9 of your cycle. (With day one of your cycle being the first day of real menstrual bleeding, and not just spotting.)  (I'm really not sure what this means but thought I would add it for educational value)
The side effect you’re probably most familiar with is the risk of multiples (Gina - that ones for you!) . You have a 10% chance of having twins when taking Clomid, but triplets or multiples of more are rare, happening less than 1% of the time.

Clomid will jump start ovulation in 80% of patients, and about 40% to 45% of women using Clomid will get pregnant within six cycles of use or about 6 months.
Using Clomid for more than six cycles is not generally recommended. If six cycles go by, and pregnancy is not achieved, alternatives may be considered (and we would/could go to IVF).

I have a second opinion visit scheduled for December 28th (I thought I would make it to the New Year with out any new people poking around in my chachki, but at this point - whats one more onlooker?) and although this new research may not change our plan - it could be a new, exciting, and less expensive and invasive option. At this point, this research is all Google based so I will report back with the official findings.

*UPDATE* This "follower" turned out to be a freakin' whack job. Later I posted how I was not a candidate for Clomid and my husband and I were going to move forward with IVF. Well, someone must have peed in her Cheerios that morning because she ended up going ballistic on my Sparkpeople wall, making crazy claims about how the doctors only wanted my money, were ill-intended, and wanted to "invade my body with foreign chemicals". Long story short, I ended up blocking her immediately from my blog and from my life. IVF blogs are no place for nay-sayers!