Getting Pregnant and Fertility Drugs: Tamoxifen / Nolvadex

If you are experiencing fertility problems your doctor might prescribe you tamoxifen also known as nolvadex or tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is a fertility drug used in the treatment of female infertility, specifically to help induce ovulation. Tamoxifen is as efficient as clomid (clomiphene) in improving your chances of getting pregnant. Read on to find out how this fertility drug works and the side effects associated with tamoxifen.

What is Nolvadex?

Nolvadex blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the body. Since nolvadex is an effective estrogen antagonist, it is also used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. In addition, nolvadex preserves fertility in breast cancer patients while they undergo treatment.

Women with breast cancer who are in the pre-menopausal and post-menopausal stages are likely to receive tamoxifen as part of their treatment. Although, research shows that tamoxifen is more effective in pre-menopausal women, whereas aromatase inhibitors are more effective in the treatment of post-menopausal women with breast cancer.

Tamoxifen and Female Infertility

Tamoxifen works to help improve female fertility by inducing and regulating ovulation. Your doctor may prescribe tamoxifen to you for a short time period if you are not able to take clomiphene. Tamoxifen produces similar effects as clomid in stimulating the ovaries, but can only be taken on a short-term basis.

In fact, tamoxifen effectively induces ovulation in 65 to 75% of the women using this fertility drug. This success rate matches that of clomiphene. Although, tamoxifen can also increase the odds of getting pregnant by 30 to 35%, it has a lower success rate than clomiphene.

Side Effects of Tamoxifen

Women taking tamoxifen make experience a few side effects. Some of the side effects of tamoxifen include:

  • blood clots (thrombosis)
  • dizziness
  • endometrial cancer
  • endometriosis
  • hair and/or nail thinning
  • headaches
  • indigestion
  • irregular menstruation
  • nausea
  • visual problems
  • voice changes
  • weight gain

Taking Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen is taken in a tablet form, once a day, daily. It should be taken at the same time everyday. Tamoxifen can be taken with or without food, depending on your personal choice. Tamoxifen as a fertility treatment is taken for a short period of time, although as a part of a breast cancer treatment it can be prescribed for long periods of time, that is 2 to 5 years.

If tamoxifen is being taken to help induce ovulation, consult your doctor about the risk of multiple births with the use of this fertility drug. Some studies show that tamoxifen increases the risk of twins by 10%. Although, this fertility drug has not been linked to birth defects yet, women are strongly advised to stop taking tamoxifen when trying to conceive. Since it should not be used during any stages of pregnancy.

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