Clomid versus Femara

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Yesterday’s topic was on Clomid, particularly with respect to the things you need to know. Today we are pitching it against its arch -rival, Femara!

The first time I heard about Femara was when I was already cycling for IVF. One of my close friends, who had also battled infertility for a while, got pregnant using the drug. I knew she had started off on Clomid, and wasn’t aware that she had made the switch to this drug I had never heard about. She raved so much about it, and swore that it was better than Clomid. I immediately ran to Google to check it out, and was amazed to see that there were many raging debates on which of these was the better option. Even the online community I was a member of had a comparison thread. I was amazed! Why had I never heard about this Femara before?!

When I started reading up on it, I was initially thrown by the fact that it was originally designed as a treatment for breast cancer. This definitely got a raised eye brow from me. Basically, Femara (or Letrozole), helps suppress estrogen levels, thus increasing the level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). This FSH is essential for the development of (a) mature ovarian follicle(s), and the subsequent ovulation of (an) egg(s). This is pretty much the same way Clomid works. Just like Clomid, it helps women with ovulation problems ovulate, but unlike Clomid, it is also useful for women who already ovulate on their own, making them prone to “super ovulation” (i.e. developing multiple follicles and releasing multiple eggs).

The monthly chances of ovulation are the same for both Clomid and Femara, however studies have shown that a lot of women who will not respond to Clomid will respond to Femara. Studies have also shown that even though some women who ovulate on Clomid might not conceive, a higher number of women will conceive on Femara. In addition, the notorious side effects of Clomid are not experienced with Femara.

When I read all this, I was completely sold on this Femara. I wondered why it hadn’t been presented to me as an option, when it was so obviously better than its rival Clomid. That was until I came across Femara’s own possible side effects, and I immediately realised why. Apparently, there is a possible higher incidence of birth defects in pregnancies arising from Femara. In fact, many Doctors will not prescribe it because of this concern. More damning was the fact that the manufacturers of the drug have even issued a warning on the possibility of these birth defects (some have argued that this was done more for legal than scientific reasons, but still not a good indicator). These manufacturers have also not filed for FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval for its use as a fertility drug (choosing to limit it only for cancer treatment). The Doctors who have prescribed it have done so in an “off label” way. Hmmmm! For me, that was case closed right there!

In all fairness, my friend has 2 beautiful and healthy boys, conceived through Femara…and there is a plethora of women online who swear by Femara, most of whom suffered badly and/or failed to conceive with Clomid. But for me, and this is my personal opinion, I would rather deal with the crazy side effects than compromise the health of my unborn child.

So…the debate still rages! What’s your take?

 

Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here

With references from:

  1. http://www.advancedfertility.com

 

Photo Credit

  1. http://www.leonpharmacy.com

 

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135 COMMENTS

  1. My Dr. Told me to get Femera when Clomid didn’t work for me. I googled and read the many benefits of it but like you, i was very sceptical about it cos of its use for treating breast cancer.

    Started searching for the drug. Searched round Lagos, all the”big” pharmacies but didn’t find. I finally got a pharmacy in Surulere who had. I asked for one satchet and they said 10k and I needed like 2 sachets. I just respected my old age and turned back home.

    And that was the end of my Femara quest.

  2. Lol@ Ivuoma, respecting her old age. Clomid is now 1200 oh, the price haff arisen. I pray God will smile upon us this cycle.

    Concise article. Thanks ma’am once again!

  3. I’v tried clomid 3 times now n it still hasn’t worked,I’v been given another dosage for my next cycle,hope it works if not dats d end of my affair with clomid oh……fingers crossed sha

  4. I too used clomid many times before. I will try femara given d chance. Truth is, I am desperate n can do anything to be a mom. But @ what point do I begin to consider IVF?

    • Hi machy. How many times exactly did you use Clomid? Even though Femara isn’t said to have as much of an effect on your ovaries, but I also don’t advocate using it for too long. You could try Femara for a maximum of 3 cycles. If it doesn’t work, then I would suggest speaking to your Doctor about other options. Good luck hun :hugs:

  5. Hi, I’ve taking clomid upto 4 times now. When I took the first two rounds I got pregnant and it end up as ectopic pregnancy and after the survery I took it again and am stil not pregnant.

    • Hi Vicky! No oh! Please don’t. A lot of women abuse Clomid, and it’s not meant to be so. Each woman’s recommended dosage is different. Please see a doctor first hun :good:

  6. I been taking clomid since April til now, and no sign of pregnancy. Is like I will try femara oo I ve been waiting 4 six years now it’s nt easy at all

  7. I do ovulate bt nt much. All d ovulation tests I ve done is always positive. But I ve nt been able 2 conceive. The doctors will always say dat d ovulation is nt much

  8. I bought famara lexteazole for 2500 in Abuja, secondly it’s taken from day five to day nine, before ovulation so I really don’t see how it causes birth defects, I heard of it before My doc prescribed it n went back to read again. He was d one who explained things to me. My two cents thou.

  9. Taking clomid is not the issue but how often do you have sex matters when on it. I advice, have regular sex ,for sperm to be always Available incase if ovulation occurs, starting from last day of ur period. Good luck

    • Hi Onyii, yes, fertile aid as the name suggest actually helps to boost one’s fertility but it is not in the same class as Clomid and Femara. It’s a supplement.

    • Hi Onyii. Kemi is right. Whilst it doesn’t induce ovulation, it helps improve ovarian function, sometimes improving egg quality, and aiding the incidence of ovulation too.

  10. Elsie, your body’s reactions to these medications is actually the best way to determine, which will work best. Both Femara and Clomid have had success rates in PCOS ladies but no absolutes. Sorry about the pain of the injectibles. #TTClife.

    • didn’t try any of them though. doctor took me straight to injection. and am so concern about putting on weight, pcos had made it extremely difficult to loose weight.

  11. i am scheduled for a Laparoscopy, but fear no let me. the whole thing just tire, now i wishing i knew , i probably wouldn’t have bothered getting married.

  12. Femara, i have heard people talk about it,expecially in this App i have on my phone(but again i just thought it may not be in Nigeria)SMH

    I will like to try it though as clomid didn’t work for me. 🙁
    @nicole and @oluwakemine can i self medicate on it? I dont want to wait on my Doctor(thinking of changing clinic)and do you have any idea how it can be taken?

  13. good day I have a very complicated issue n I don’t know how to start..but d point is I need to get pregnant latest ending of dis year in other not to loose my man totally..pls can clomid help..pls help…

    • Omowunmi, clomid may help you, if ovulation is the challenge. More importantly, you need to see a doctor to find out, why you’re not getting pregnant and have your man go with you, so he can be tested too.
      Whatever is the problem, that you need to get pregnant, go easy, stress does no good. Baby dust to you.

    • its all in the Hand of God to make you pregnant and a man who will not stay during hard times, dont deserve to be in your life. pregnant or not, marriage is honourable.

  14. May God help and answer every TTC woman. This road is a tough and lonely one. Too many pains and disappoints. Clomid is now 2,500. bought last week. Everything haff cost…. Lol

  15. Pls ladies I’ll like to try clomid or femera pls wic one do u suggest? I was able to conceive last year after Ivf dint work for me after taking series of ovulating stimulation injections ..

    • Hi Eddybabie40, while it is a really good idea to have your doctor check you out and decide on the best fit for you between Clomid and Femara, clomid is widely used and there have been more results, when compared to Femara. Again, it will be a good idea to talk to your doctor first. Why didn’t IVF work? Baby dust.

  16. hello ladies… I have just been placed on clomid and I will begin the medication today. I am on cd5. pls suggest dates I and hubby could do the deed for a positive result.. baby dust to all.

    • Hi Funmi, lots of babydust to you this cycle.What’s the usual length of your cycle! That helps to determine when ovulate. This cycle, it might not be a bad idea to get OPKs, to pinpoint when you ovulate. However, you may likely ovulate 5-10 days after completing the dosage of clomid.

  17. My cycle is usually between 25 and 27days. I just returned from my gyn. she asked me to begin its usage on cd12 and continue using until 30days. where it gets confusing is “30days”. I asked Dr. Google and it says I should begin on cd5 up until CD 10 whereas my gyn said 7days after the completion of my period until 30days. help out pls

    • This is definitely confusing, I haven’t heard of clomid being used for 30 days. You need to clarify that with your gynae, before you start.
      I know some start clomid, CD2-CD5, or CD5-CD9. What’s important is that you take it before you would naturally ovulate.

  18. I decided to opt out of my gyn for d last two month en switch to capital GOD…. D giver of baby. Pls join me in faith all mummies in d house en pray for us ttc. My husband is d issue, he is really mad abt my issue en get himself annoyed anytime he sees baby or pregnant women. He also want me to be unhappy anytime his people are around. As anyone experience did from hubby

    • Hello Adebisi. It is not enough for him to be mad, and wanting you to be unhappy, has he started treatment and is he sticking to it? That’s what is important right now. At this moment, you need to be careful in your relationship with him, show him you care about him regardless of the diagnosis. He will come around, once he sees your unflinching support. Try not to focus on your hurt. I know that’s not easy but you can make it happen. Baby dust to you.

    • Adebisi, Kemi is right. Even though your hubby isn’t right to be mad at you, he’s probably just acting out and unsure of how to channel his own emotions. Keep praying for him hun…but if it persists, it might be time to get a Counsellor…someone he respects who can speak with him. It is well hun! Praying your time in God’s waiting room ends very soon :heart:

  19. thank u Oluwakemi. I did a lot of reading yesterday and decided to go thru the day 5_9. I know I’d definitely switch my gyn soon. thank u very much. I almost forgot, does clomid lengthen the clomid lengthen the overall cycle as well as ovulation? I normally ovulate BTW çd10 and 13. should I expect it later? baby dust to all….

  20. I have not mennstrated for 8 months and my gyn placed on dostinex I had milk dicharge from my breast but nothing has shown since then.I and hubby v bn ttc for a year plus.I want to try clomid. Somebody help

    • Hi Caroline, you should consider doing hormone profiling first before trying clomid. It’s important that the milky discharge stops before you start inducing ovulation. Also, try to track your cycle, use OPKs to determine whether you ovulate or not, because all clomid does is induce ovulation. If you already ovulate, you might not need it. Still talk to your doctor before you start though.

    • Esther dear, your Gynae was on the right track placing you on Dostinex, as the milky discharge is clearly a case of high prolactin. High prolactin usually walks hand in hand with low progesterone, which could cause ovulation issues. Clomid is a good idea, but you have to run it by your doctor first and get his go-ahead. Good luck dear :hugs:

  21. I just stopped letrozole 5mg (femara) 3 days ago and did hydrotubation yesterday. today is my cd10. Hopefully I will ovulate with femara.when should I start using opk to test.? I hope this cycle works out for me.

    • Hi Esther, Clomid and Bromocriptine are not used for the treatment of the same condition. Clomid is used to induce ovulation, while Bromocriptine is used where hormonal issues in females are concerned,like cases of high prolactin.

  22. Hello. Just go mention that I just bought femara at a pharmacy on Ogunsanya drive in surulere. I can’t remeber the name of the pharmacy now. I had checked over ten pharmacy shops in Yaba area and didn’t find so I figured this information may be useful to someone.

  23. hello gud people.i ve been trying to concieve for 8yrs now.have done ivf twice.i havnt taken clomid or femara
    until i started searching for fertility drugs on line.then i came across it.ovulation has been an issue since january so am considering
    femara or clomid.i dnt mind how much but where to buy it

    • Hi Bela, I think, you should talk to your doctor first, rather than buying either Femara or clomid off the counter. There might have been a reason, neither was recommended to you, before moving on to IVF. Just talk it over with your doctor first. *hugs* dear and sending loads of baby dust your way.

    • Bela dear, so sorry about your failed IVF cycles. Did your doctor give you any indication why? Was your response good? How many embryos were transferred? What were the reasons your doctor recommended IVF before less invasive means? Do you have tubal issues? Does your partner have sperm issues? If ovulation is the only problem you’re dealing with, then Clomid or Femara might not be a bad idea. But if there are other issues, it might not make a difference. Either way, you MUST speak with your doctor first and don’t resort to self medication. Good luck dear!

  24. Your Comment…i tried clomid and it didn’t
    work for me.. I later conceived with fertilaid and ovaboost am now trying for baby #2 .. Am considering femera this time.

  25. please ladies,where can I get clomid in Akure? I left Ibadan yesterday to visit hubby since he works in Akure…I really need to get pregnant this month!

    • Hi Naomi, Have you been diagnosed with a case of anovulation and prescribed clomid? A standard pharmacy should have it in Akure. Meanwhile, you could try tracking your cycle, so you have sex at the right time.

  26. Ladies pls help out, i do hear ovulation is kind of sticky and slippery but ever since have been menstruating my ovulation is always watery and not sticky….i guess thats not ovulation….. Pls in this case can i use clomid?

    • Hi Kemmyk, the egg white cervical mucous is not enough to determine ovulation. You could try, ovulation prediction kit first. Then talk to your doctor about Clomid later on.

  27. Am just so unhappy right now…is it possible to menstruate without ovulation? I have been trackin my ovulation days and been havin sex regularly but I still dnt get pregnant…am tinkin of tryin clomid dis month cos am just confused..!please I need some advice

    • Hi Ayomikun, yes, it is possible to menstruate without ovulating. Are you using Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)? If you are not, you might want to start, to be able to accurately pinpoint when you ovulate.
      As for using clomid, you should see your doctor about that first.

  28. Ok then…I guess I’ll have to buy OPK too then…will go see my doc about the clomid…this is just my fourth month of trying actively for a baby…I hope am not being unnecessarily worried..! I noticed since I started having regular sex my. Period became irregular unlike wen it was a clockwork before I got married..! Is that a normal thing?

    • Hi Ayomikun, there could be more reasons for your irregular period, which is what your doctor should find out. Perhaps, you are stressed or have adopted an habit that’s affecting your cycle.

  29. Oh love this post. Read it over and over. I’ve decided on Femara. Please, does anyone know a pharmacy in Lagos I can get Femara?

    • Hi Glafys. Glad that you find the post helpful. However, I think, you should talk to your doctor before trying Femara, just to be sure, its the right choice for you.

  30. Hi! Pls I really need help I have been pregnant before, four years ago am finding it difficult to conceived now. Could it be am not ovulating normal now?

  31. Hello all, found this article useful. My doc prescribed Femera but I don’t know we’re to get it in Akwa Ibom state. Pls I need help asap….. Thanks

  32. My Dr prescribed femare, since then I have been looking for it please can you give me any address of a pharmacy in gbagada lagos were I can get it. Thanks

  33. I am new here, I have very irregular period and when I visited hospital I was diagonize of high level of prolactin. I am on bromocriptin drug. This is 3weeks now am on the drug but still a milky discharge comes out whenever I press my breast hard…How long did I have to wait for the prolactin to go down and conceive..they also discover intermural leiomyoma which the doc said no cause for alarm..Has anyone conceive with very tiny fibroid in the wall of uterus?

    • Fauzy dear, these things take time. But at 3 weeks, you should have started seeing some change. I suggest you see your doctor, and probably repeat the test to check if the prolactin level has reduced at all. If it hasn’t, he might have to place you on a new treatment regime.

  34. Again, I dnt know if I am ovulating..as the cervix mucus I am experience is creamy in nature and discharge increase whenever I go through stress..does creamy look of cervix mucus indicate that I ovulate?

  35. I had problem ovulating, was placed on clomid, took in immediately and had a miscarriage at 3 months. Took clomid again as soon as my period started, got pregnant this time wit twins, aboy and a girl. Had my babies try cs. They ll b 1 by Nov 11. I m Tinkin of trying again. Baby dust to all sis.

  36. Interesting thread. I got married in April, me and hubby has bn TTC without success. I ovulate, we have been tracking ovulation. Downloaded the app for it too.
    What do you guys suggest? Which hospital an i go to in abuja thats effective and wouldn’t be too expensive to run all the test .
    Thank you as i await uplifting suggestions ?

    • Hello Ify, an app is not enough to track your ovulation, you should consider ovulation prediction clinics. For clinics in Abuja, you can try Peace Care clinic, they do have a good doctor there or try Nisa Premier.

  37. If you are in Akwa Ibom. Pls check Amela pharmacy at nwaniba round about or Aljeroms pharmacy along aka etinan for letrozole(famera).
    I conceived twice with clomid.but had miscarriages. The last one was twins in 2015. Since then,I have tried several clomid rounds, hcg,hormone profile tests, supplements, traditional means,etc. I thought it was the end for me. I met A gyn i last visited in 2015 and she recommended famera cycle day 3 to 7 in may 2017. I conceived immediately. The baby boy is kicking already. Baby dust to you all

  38. I had baby 2004. I have been menstruating normally until 2 years ago. Am trying to conceive now but it is proving difficult. Where do I start from. The wide gap is due to marital problem.

    • Dear Benny, when your menstruation stopped being regular, did it stop completely, or is it prolonged cycles? Have you put on a lot of weight in that period? There are a few reasons why this could be the case, highest of which is a hormonal disorder. Have you seen any doctor?

      • Hello Nicole. My period became a prolonged. I have seen my period just twice this year. I added some weight too and am finding it difficult to lose the weight. Thanks for your response

      • Thank you so much Nicole. My cycle became usually prolonged before it stopped completely.I won’t even say it stopped completely because I have seen my period twice this year. I have added weight which is quite difficult to lose. Thanks for responding to my issue

  39. Hi, Got married some months ago, i have noticed that each time we do the baby dance, i get drips for days after. I really haven’t noticed the sticky cervical mucus stuff and its pretty difficult to tell if what i feel dripping slightly is left over semen or virginal discharge. OPK was negative for last cycle. How do i know if am actually ovulating., i have just bought another set of OPK, and its been negative so far. My cycle is short, 23/24 days. how do i differentiate seminal left over from virginal discharge/cervical mucus?

    • Hello Beebee, first of all, congratulations on your marriage. Does this discharge have any foul smell whatsoever? If not, it might be a case of infection. Also, of what day of your cycle do you start using your OPK? For the dripping you noticed, it will be hard to differentiate them, as it can be a mixture of all three fluids or two. I would suggest that after this cycle, that you talk to your doctor to determine if you are ovulating or not.
      cc: @nicole

  40. My gyn prescribed clomid and bromocreptin for me after series of test and scans and the result was high prolactin

    My question is can someone have hormonal inbalance and yet ovulate regularly, no any form of milk coming out from the breast

    • Dear Kemmyk, high prolactin doesn’t always manifest with liquid secretion from the breasts, even though that is the most common manifestation. As for ovulation, yes it can happen, but the probability is not very high owing to the hormonal issues. I would suggest going with your doctor’s plan to treat the prolactin issue, and then using an OPK to properly track your ovulation. Good luck dear.

  41. Hi,I have a kid who is 7 and I really didn’t think of conceiving after her.my first issue was through CS and now I’ve been TTC for the past 4 years after all sorts of tests and ultrasounds my gyn has concluded there is nothing wrong with me.I ovulate with 30 days cycle and my periods are regular.thing is I’ve not been placed on clomid or what not yet and I really hope to have a second child soon.what to do? Baby dust to y’all

    • Kristy dear, like Kemi said, it might be a good idea to have your DH get tested for his semen quality. Also, did your Gina check for any adhesions you might have gotten after the CS? Surgery is known to cause pelvic scarring, which can affect implantation.

  42. Oluwakemi and Nicole thanks,I really didn’t expect any response from this site.i just poured out your hurt.well my DH hasn’t been tested and I never thought of that.will do just that.plus my GYN has actually ran all sorts of tests hoping I have no issues after my CS and there is nothing affecting me from conceiving.i guess I’ll keep visiting the GYN till I get my BFP.baby dust to all.

      • I told clomid before I conceived my first child. Now I’m trying for baby 2 and my gyn prescribed Femara though for the first circle it didn’t work. I want to try it again on my own but I don’t know where to get it in Lagos and how much.

  43. Hi, had my first baby with no stress. The second was diagnosed with pid got treated with clomid and took in immediately. Now 3 years after still trying for another baby . went to the doc and asked to do hsg. But shouldn’t i just do the anti biotics and clomid as i did d the other time. Just a bit confused

  44. Please, is it possible that i ovulate even if the test line is never darker than the control line on the opk? its always as dark or not as dark never darker. we’ve been ttc for over a year now and this thing is tiring. my period is regular between 25-28 days although i got pregnant in 2015 but sadly it ended un a miscarriage after 2months.l and weve been trying since then till date. is there any advice/recommendation? i think i might not be ovulating properly im just sad.

    • Dear Grace, so sorry about your miscarriage hun :hugs: . And as for the line always having to be darker, it isn’t always the case. For a lot of women, it’s, at best, just as dark but never darker…and they ovulate fine. What matters is that you get a dark line. Also your cycle duration sounds perfect. Have you had a hormonal assay done before? Checked your tubal function? And has your DH checked his swimmers?

  45. wow what a site…..thks for the good works….
    i read online that men takes clomid too for fertility,that it make the sperm very mortile and increase sperm…

  46. I dont feel good taking clomid. Ibhate it cos of the crazy side effects i get, my period will delay for up to 6 days and i will feel like i am preggy. Funnily i ovulate well without aid. But for some strange reasons the doctors still place me on the clomid. So when i complained about the effects. He said if no bfp i should use famera for the mext cycle. Meanwhile clomid gives me side effects a week before AF will come. With hip bones in very bad shape all my body will ache so bad. So finally the period came and i switched over to famera thinking that would be better, famera was worse for me. The side effects was right when i was taking it. I ovulated so well that month more than clomid But still dint result in a bfp.

    • Both drugs can have some really unpleasant side effects. I have also read that women who are able to ovulate on their own are less likely to conceive on these drugs. Do you know why your doctor recommended it for you?

  47. Hello
    I’m new here
    I have a question
    I’ve had a regular period all my life until 4 months ago….
    I haven’t seen my period in 4 months
    I was diagnosed of pcos ….
    Please what can i do to get my period back for ir to be regular
    I am trying to conceive too
    Thank you

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