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  1. #1
    Scrappin' Cyster danielleweathers's Avatar
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    Default Femara- Birth Defects? Vs. Clomid?

    Hi Ladies-

    I have a few questions about Femara. I recently tried another round of Clomid which was not successful in achieving ovulation so I talked with my doc and she suggested Femara. She did mention there was a study published about possible birth defects but that it hasn't been repeated and she would feel comfortable taking it herself. She said the risks of birth defects for any pregnancy are about 2-3 % and this study found a 4% risk. She also said there were problems with the control group. So any of you ladies know anything else about this controversy? How do you feel and are you willing to take the risks?
    Also, with my track record with Clomid, which has not been real good (never been pregnant and only ovulated a few times with high doses) what kind of results can I anticipate with Femara. If any of you have been unsuccessful with Clomid and then had great results with Femara I would love to hear your success stories. Thanks ladies! It's been a long (almost) 10 years TTC and I need some hope.

    Sincerely,
    Danielle
    me 32, DH 32
    ttc biological children for 10+ years
    Blessed by adoption twice!
    Metformin ER 2000mg
    Multi-Vitamin, EPO
    10/04 100mg Clomid/HCG/IUI=BFN
    11/04 100mg Clomid=no ovulation
    12/04 break for holidays
    1/05 150mgClomid/HCG/IUI=BFN
    4/06 100mg Clomid= no ovulation
    6/06 5mg Femara/IUI/HCG=BFN
    dx 7/95

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  2. #2
    Registered User RunnerDuck's Avatar
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    I thought the flaw with the study was they looked at the drug and its effects using pregnant women... and the women taking femara to TTC wouldn't be pregnant, they'd be pre-pregnant. By the time you O'd and conception occurred, the drug would no longer be in your system. I *think* that's the flaw.

    Personally, if I were offered the option, I *might* try femara. My hesitation is due to the fact that I never O'd on clomid, so I'd wonder if it was worth my time - not due to birth defect risks.

    Personally I am scared of birth defect risks with any fertility med because I worry that I am taking my flawed body and trying to force eggs which are bound to be bad... I always said I would never do treatments for this reason. Number 1 was a surprise so I was never challenged in this belief that time. It's gotten a lot harder to stick with that conviction as #1 gets older and #2 ain't happening... I really want him to have a sibling and it looks like I am going to have to give up my hopes of two natural (and successful) conceptions.

    I figure I just had a rotten egg with a totally natural cycle... and there is not really any evidence backing up the belief that children concieved via infertility treatments are any more likely to have problems than those that aren't (except *maybe* for ICSI/IVF - seems there is a little controvery there) ... so I guess I'll take my chances here because I guess you never know what you're going to get. But I am not more or less wary of femera than any other treatment, so if I had any reason to think it might work, and it was offered, I'd give it a try. Injections aren't nearly as bad as I imagined but, I'd still rather pop a pill.
    "Laugh about it, shout about it, when you've got to choose -
    Every way you look at it, you lose."
    - Simon & Garfunkel

  3. #3
    Clock screaming cyster! Bekah1999's Avatar
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    Hi! I'm currently in the 2ww on my first Femera/Gonal-F cycle. I can't say how it will turn out, but I did have two nice follicles using it. My dr gave me 25mg to take all in one day. When I went for my u/s 4 days later, I had four follicles, but only two became dominate. I had no side effects, whereas Clomid made me moody and messed with my vision.

    In regards to the safety of taking it, my dr had me take an hpt the morning I was supposed to take the medication because it can cause birth defects if you are 'already' pregnant. Since the drug clears the body so quickly, it is safe to use prior to ovulation. (This was from a handout that my dr gave me & our discussion before I agreed to take it.)

    HTH,
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    DD 7 (IVF)
    TTC #2 for forever!
    Dx PCOS in 1997
    Dx Tubal Problems 2007
    RE suggesting IVF only chance (again)

  4. #4
    It's a Girl! jkostlevy's Avatar
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    I am also taking femara and am currently in my second cycle. Before I started cycle 1, I looked into this issue as well. I agree with the first two posters that it can cause birth defects but only if you are pregnant already. I verified with a pharmacist I work with that it is 100% out of your body by conception, so I feel confident that it is ok. I take several HPTs (even when I got my period naturally) to ensure I am not pregnant before starting the next round.

    I did O last cycle on femara for the first time in years. I would say it is worth a shot. Another positive is that because it is technically not a fertility med, most insurance companies cover it!
    Jordan, Chuck, and Marah

    I've lost 126lb!!! Woohoo!!!!!! 31 more to go...

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  5. #5
    Registered User pcosdre's Avatar
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    Hi Danielle -

    I had success with femera + metformin after clomid. I got pg on just my 2nd cycle on it. I have a perfectly healthy 9-mo old son conceived on it .

    I am ttc again and went back to my RE recently and they told me they were no longer prescribing it because of the study. They said they think it's fine and the study was not conclusive at all, but I think for insurance reasons they just have to be extra careful. There is another larger, better designed study going on so they are waiting to hear the results of that. So I am going to have to go back on clomid next cycle (I tried this month with just metformin for kicks). I'm kinda bummed as I liked femara a lot - I got one nice dominant follie both cycles I was on it, and I had zero side effects - and I also think the pp's are right that it's not a problem since it's out of your system prior to conception.

    Oh well, hopefully by some miracle I'm already pg and it won't be an issue! This cycle has been bizarre. I started having light spotting at 4-5dpo and got excited thinking maybe it was implantation as I've never had any mid-cycle spotting before. But now it's going on 4 days of it and I think that's too long, so it must be something else, maybe a cyst or something related to pcos, who knows. Either way, AF is due in less than a week so I will know soon...

    Good luck to you!!
    Dre

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    Mission Accomplished!!!!! meredith13's Avatar
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    I'm very interested in this too....

    ***babydust***

  7. #7
    Registered User soflaliz's Avatar
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    Hello all...

    I am currently on my first cycle for Femara and I feel great. Clomid gave me horrible headaches, and I was very moody. I didn't even ovulate with Clomid. I did with Femara, Metformin and Hcg shot. I had one nice follie. I will find out next week if it work. If not, I will be doing another cycle of Femara. Good Luck with what you decide.
    Liz (38)
    DH (38)
    Married 5/18/02
    TTC #1 since 2/04
    Dx with mild PCOS 4/05
    7/05: 50mg Clomid-no ovulation
    9/05: 100mg Clomid-no ovulation
    3/06: 150mg Clomid-no ovulation
    5/06: Femara 5mg (1 follie-20mm)/Ovidrel/P4-10.4-BFN
    6/06: Femara 5mg(1 follie-24mm)/Ovidrel/IUI
    12dpiui - BFP - Beta 52 THANK YOU GOD...

    Mom to:
    Max Nicholas - 1/10/08, 10 lbs, 8 ozs, 21 1/2 inches

    Twin Angels-Emma Elizabeth & Savannah Rose-11/3/06 Mid-term loss at 20 weeks due to TTTS

  8. #8
    Scrappin' Cyster danielleweathers's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies for all your responses. It's good to know that we can be successful using Femara when Clomid didn't work. I did some reading and I think that I feel safe about using Femara for TTC. Good luck to those of you who are waiting and hoping this cycle. I'm starting Provera today and hope this cycle is the one for me. Again, thanks for all your support.

    Sincerely,
    Danielle
    me 32, DH 32
    ttc biological children for 10+ years
    Blessed by adoption twice!
    Metformin ER 2000mg
    Multi-Vitamin, EPO
    10/04 100mg Clomid/HCG/IUI=BFN
    11/04 100mg Clomid=no ovulation
    12/04 break for holidays
    1/05 150mgClomid/HCG/IUI=BFN
    4/06 100mg Clomid= no ovulation
    6/06 5mg Femara/IUI/HCG=BFN
    dx 7/95

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  9. #9
    worrywort mama Aud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunnerDuck
    Personally, if I were offered the option, I *might* try femara. My hesitation is due to the fact that I never O'd on clomid, so I'd wonder if it was worth my time - not due to birth defect risks.
    I haven't read this whole thread, but I just wanted to correct this misconception. A lot of people believe that if they are unsuccessful with Clomid, then they will have the same reaction to Femara. Not so. They are totally different drugs. I took Clomid 5 times, up to 150 mg. and never even came close to O'ing. I took Femara once at the lowest dose, and O'd and got pregnant that same month, hence Anya. I would take Femara again in a heartbeat, especially as a last resort before trying injectibles. There were no side effects, and it worked.

    About the birth defects thing: as it turns out, Anya, who as I said was conceived with Femara has had a few health issues (hypothyroidism, urinary reflux), but I doubt that they are related to what I took to get pregnant. Here's why: Femara only stays in the body for a very short period of time after it's been ingested. (Which is also why it doesn't have the tendency that Clomid has to gum up the cervical mucuous and thin out the uterine lining--it's not in the body for long enough to have that effect). Essentially, the drug is out of your body before you are ever pregnant, so I'm very skeptical that it could cause birth defects...

    All in all, I thought Femara was awesome. If I can't get pregnant naturally with #3, and I doubt that I can since I've never O'd withouth drugs, I will definitely take it again without worrying about this silly study. Studies can be very skewed in favor of who has conducted them, and what they are trying to accomplish.
    Aud, 29, DH, 29
    DS, Noah, born 8-5-03
    DD, Anya, born 5-19-05
    Now pregnant with #3 thanks to Gonal-F and Crinone!


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