Doctors generally prescribe fertility drugs to women who are having trouble ovulating or to those undergoing an assisted reproductive technology procedure, such as in vitro fertilization. But though these potent drugs have helped many couples achieve pregnancy, they need to be taken carefully and correctly, and may even pose some health risks. Before beginning any course of treatment, communicate your questions and concerns to your doctor -- and make sure they're addressed thoroughly.
Here are some general questions to begin with:
- What dosage of the medication will I take each day, and for how long?
- Will the dosage vary with each menstrual cycle?
- What are the potential risks (including multiple births) and side effects?
- Should the medication be taken on a full or an empty stomach?
- If the medication is injected, how much diluent (a diluting agent) do I need to use?
- Is there a generic version of the drug I can use (such as clomiphene citrate for Clomid or Serophene, for example)? What are the pros and cons of each?
- How much will the treatment cost?
- In your experience, what are our chances of conceiving?
Before taking any medication, be sure to tell your doctor if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer so that he or she can inform you of any possible risks. Also tell your doctor if you're taking any prescription medications, and ask whether this should pose a problem.