04 Mar Clomid vs Femara – Similarities and Differences between these Conception Medications
Fertility doctors have been prescribing medications such as Clomid and Femara for years now to help women who have been struggling to fall pregnant. How the medications work is that they stimulate the ovaries to produce a viable egg for the purposes of fertilization in those patients who have hormonal imbalances or conditions that prevent the ovaries from functioning properly. However, there are differences between the two drugs. So, Clomid vs Femara; which one is better to use?
- This is a weak estrogen medication which makes the brain think that there isn’t enough of the hormone in the body thereby causing the pituitary gland to send a signal to the ovaries to work harder. This is known as an “anti-estrogen” action.
- The medication will make women who don’t ovulate to produce an egg and those who do ovulate may produce multiple eggs thereby increasing the chances of having twins, triplets, etc.
- The anti-estrogen action may result in a decreased production of cervical mucus and thinning of the endometrial layer of the uterus. This action may make it more difficult for sperm to penetrate the mucus and the underdeveloped endometrium may make it difficult for the embryo (fertilized egg) to implant on the layer.
- In general, the benefits of the medication outweigh the possible problems it can cause.
- Clomid is a relatively inexpensive medication compared to Femara.
- The medication was initially used to manage certain kinds of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by preventing androgens (male-type hormones) being converted to estrogen. This decreases the amount of estrogen in the body to prevent the mentioned cancers from growing (since the hormone feeds these tumors).
- It works as an ovary stimulator in much the same way as Clomid by forcing the pituitary gland to signal the ovaries to increase their activity due to the low estrogen levels in the body.
- As opposed to Clomid, Femara doesn’t cause the abovementioned anti-estrogen effects and has actually been found to improve the development of the endometrial layer of the uterus.
- The pregnancy rate of this medication is comparable to Clomid and the chances of developing multiple pregnancies are reduced.
- The procedure of intrauterine insemination is combined with the use of this medication.
- There was some concern regarding Femara about the possible development of birth defects when using the product to stimulate ovulation. This forced the company that manufactures the drug to add a black box warning on the package insert stating that the product is not indicated for the induction of ovulation. However, follow-up clinical studies have failed to demonstrate this adverse event.
- Femara is usually prescribed for patients who have previously used Clomid and experienced poor endometrial development or in those where the latter has failed to produce adequate results.
- In a study conducted on women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Femara was found to be superior in stimulating the ovaries of these patients as well as resulting in a greater number of successful pregnancies when compared to patients using Clomid.1