Letrozole Fertility Drug – The next step in our journey
This week marks the next step in our journey to getting pregnant. Letrozole is a common first line of treatment, whether you have PCOS or unexplained infertility which is what I have. Letrozole is typically taken once a day for five days. When you take the drug, it stops androgens in your body from converting into estrogen. When estrogen is blocked, the pituitary gland gets a message that it needs to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovary to produce an egg. Some women on letrozole actually release more than one egg because they produce more FSH while on letrozole than a woman produces when ovulating naturally.
Once I have taken the letrozole I have to attend a number of scans for ovarian cycle tracking, this starts on day 10 of my cycle, these scans are to track my response to the drug and measure growth of follicles and to confirm ovulation.
Normally a woman produces and releases one egg every month. If she has 28 to 30 day cycle, ovulation occurs between day 12 to 16 of the cycle. In follicular tracking method (ovarian cycle tracking), an ultrasound scan is arranged on day 10 of the cycle (day 1 is the first day of period). This scan will show the size of the follicle and the thickness and nature of the endometrium.
When the follicle reaches a size of 16 mm in diameter, one will be advised to use ovulation prediction kit (LH surge kit) which is available with any chemist. At the same time further scans will be arranged till the follicle reaches the size of 18 mm. When the ovulation prediction kit is positive (by showing 2 lines, it indicates the occurrence of LH surge to stimulate ovulation. The couple are then advised to have intercourse for the next three days starting from that day.
After the scans the results with be explained to me and plan a progesterone blood test at the appropriate time of my cycle which is generally 7 days after ovulation is confirmed on the scans.
This is also were organised/planned “love making” is to take place once they have assessed the dates so we can increase our chances of pregnancy.
So lets hope the first cycle of letrozole is a success. Fingers crossed.