Fertility drugs online

images-18One of the most frustrating things about going through fertility tests and treatment can be the waiting – and so it’s not surprising that people are sometimes tempted to take matters into their own hands.  If that’s a matter of chasing up funding for treatment, going to visit different fertility clinics or seeing a complementary therapist it can be a positive thing.  Buying fertility drugs online, however, is not a good idea under any circumstances.  The problem is thought to be so widespread that the website Netmums is carrying out a survey looking into the issue. 

Clomifene citrate, or Clomid, is a drug which can be used to help women who have problems with ovulation – and which is apparently now widely available on the Internet for people who have decided to take it without medical support. I think part of the reason for this is a general misunderstanding about what Clomid is and what it can do – it’s sometimes described as a fertility-boosting drug, leaving people under the misapprehension that it will boost anyone’s fertility. In fact, this is really not the case at all as if you ovulate normally it may make you less fertile rather than more fertile because it can thicken the cervical mucus.

Women who are taking Clomid should be carefully monitored to make sure that they are not at in danger of a multiple pregnancy – twins may sound ideal, but multiple birth is the biggest risk from fertility treatment, and it would be awful to lose a pregnancy because you’d bought drugs online, which is a very real possibility.

Finally, there are restrictions on how Clomid should be taken with no more than six cycles recommended because of a possible link with ovarian cancer.

What’s perhaps more worrying is that you don’t actually know what you’re buying when you purchase drugs online – they may be out of date and they may not be what they claim to be at all.

If Clomid is the right treatment for you, your doctor or consultant will prescribe it – please, please don’t buy it online.

Acupuncture claims

I don’t have any personal drum to beat when it comes to acupuncture and infertility – I know of many people feel has made all the difference to them, but equally I know of many others who are far from convinced – but I was fascinated by some new research being splashed over the Internet recently claiming that acupuncture was more successful than the commonly prescribed fertility drug clomifene citrate.  I’ve just been looking at some of the reports, trying to sift what is apparently “new” research from a plethora of older papers cited to back up the evidence and the information relating to clomifene seems to come from this one paper published a year ago in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science.

Interestingly, the recent NICE fertility guideline suggested that in many cases where clomifene has traditionally been prescribed in the UK, it “does not increase the chances of a pregnancy of a live birth”.  This refers to those who have unexplained infertility who have often been offered clomifene to “boost” their fertility.  I’ve often come across women who are angry that their family doctor or fertility specialist won’t prescribe clomifene as they’re convinced that it will help them to get pregnant. It is important to understand that clomifene can only help in specific circumstances where women have problems with ovulation – and that in other circumstances doctors won’t prescribe it because it will do nothing to increase your chances of success.

Apparently the research published last year focused on women who had “ovulatory dysfunctional infertility” but given only this rather vague outline it’s impossible to know whether the results are as interesting as they may sound – it is actually far from uncommon for women with certain ovulation disorders to be resistant to clomifene and if they were included in this study, the results would hardly be surprising.