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Aurora magazine

Infertility: a treatment comes from the past

It has been on the market for more than 50 years, it has a tremendous cost and is as effective as the hormones used today. It's clomiphene, a drug used to stimulate the ovaries and not hormones. The news comes from Dr Noor Danhof in Amsterdam. Along with his team he compared hormone therapy and clomiphene therapy. He has thus discovered that clomiphene is as effective as hormones and less expensive.

Ovarian stimulation with intrauterine insemination is one of the main approaches in case of unexplained infertility. The number of primary follicles increases, so that fertilization is easier. However, the procedure increases the chances of multiple pregnancies, with all the risks involved. That is why the researchers are looking for a way to stimulate the ovaries by limiting the multi-lingual parts.

Routine treatment for ovarian stimulation involves daily injection of follicle-stimulating hormone, FSH. The alternative is a shorter cycle of clomiphene, to be taken orally. Doctors disagree on what is the best option. The Dutch researchers then compared the two treatments. The results did not reveal statistically significant differences.

The researchers followed couples from 24 fertility centers, suffering from unexplained male infertility. They treated 369 women with FSH and other 369 with clomiphene. They then proceeded with intrauterine insemination. The results showed a 31% success rate in the first group and 26% in the second group. In the first group, little more than 1% of women had multiple pregnancies, compared to 2% of the second group. According to the authors of the study, the difference is present but not statistically relevant.

Dr. Noor Danhof says that stimulation with clomiphene is as effective as hormone, only at a lower cost. While an FSH cycle costs 200 euros, one of clomiphene costs 5. Clomiphene is also taken orally, while hormones are injected with all the problems that result.