Femara for Ovulation Induction
Femara (generic name is Letrazole) is an aromatase inhibitor. Aromatase is an enzyme that is responsible for the production of estrogen in the body. Letrozole works by inhibiting aromatase which then suppresses estrogen production. Clomiphene citrate, on the other hand, blocks estrogen receptors. In both cases, the result is that the pituitary gland produces more of the hormones needed to stimulate the ovaries. These hormones, FSH and LH, can cause the development of ovulation in women who are anovulatory or increase the number of eggs developing in the ovaries of women who already ovulate. As a result, several studies have now been published using letrozole as a fertility drug.
When used in the early part of the menstrual cycle (follicular phase), letrozole inhibits estrogen synthesis, thereby causing enhanced FSH stimulation. This results in normal or enhanced egg recruitment with less risk of multiple ovulation and ovarian hyperstimulation. Letrozole has a very short half-life (~45 hours) and, therefore, is quickly cleared from the body. For this reason, it is less likely to adversely affect the endometrium and cervical mucus than other ovulation medicines given orally.
There have been reports of children born with birth defects to mothers who took femara while pregnant so the manufacturer of Femara issued a warning to doctors about using femara during pregnancy. Numerous studies however have proven the safety of femara if taken before pregnancy is established. Because of its short half life and different mode of action, Femara may be prescribed to you instead of Clomid. The treatment course of this medicine is very similar to Clomid.
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