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Fertility Drugs

What are fertility drugs used for?

Fertility drugs are medicines used to help women get pregnant. As a couple, you are considered infertile if you have not been able to get pregnant after at least 1 year (or 6 months if you are 35 or older).

Before fertility drugs are used, both you and your partner must have complete exams to check for possible causes of infertility. Sometimes making lifestyle changes or treating other problems may help you get pregnant.

Some fertility drugs are taken as pills, and some are given as shots.

How do they work?

Some women have trouble getting pregnant because their ovaries are not releasing eggs. Fertility drugs help the ovaries release eggs. The egg then needs to be fertilized by sperm.

Fertility drugs also help your body make more hormones. The hormones help prepare the lining of the womb for a fertilized egg.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

  • Fertility drugs are expensive. They may not be covered by health insurance. Think about what treatments you can afford, both emotionally and financially. Discuss your feelings and concerns with your healthcare provider before you start treatment.
  • If you take a fertility drug and get pregnant, there is a greater chance that you will have twins or triplets.
  • Follow the directions that come with your medicine, including information about food or alcohol. Make sure you know how and when to take your medicine. Do not take more or less than you are supposed to take.
  • Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if you have side effects.
  • Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at the same place. Your pharmacist can help make sure that all of your medicines are safe to take together.
  • Keep a list of your medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all of the products you are taking.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

For more information, check The National Infertility Association’s Web site at

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-08-09
Last reviewed: 2014-12-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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