In some cases, infertility can be caused by hyper-production of the hormone prolactin. This hormone is responsible for stimulating the production of milk in women. When high amounts of the hormone are present, as with pregnant and lactating women, normal production of FSH and LH is inhibited, thereby preventing ovulation from occurring. However, in women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding and have abnormally high levels of prolactin, treatment is required to promote ovulation.
Bromocriptine is an oral medication used to prevent the production of prolactin. These fertility pills come in doses of 2.5mg which you take every day. Depending on how well your body responds to the medication, your health care provider may adjust your dosage. Additionally, this is not an "instant results" type of drug – it can take a few months before normal ovulation is restored.
Once you have begun to ovulate normally, you and your partner can try to conceive naturally. However, it is necessary to continue taking the drug until pregnancy occurs. Unlike other fertility medications, though, bromocriptine is safe to use for a prolonged period of time, even for several years.
As many as 90% of women using bromocriptine are able to restore their ovulation while taking the medication. Of these women, anywhere between 65% and 85% will become pregnant.
Because a common side effect of the medication is dizziness and stomach upset, many women are encouraged to start with half a tablet per day and slowly increase their intake to 2.5mg. Taking the pills with food may also help to ease these discomforts.
Other side effects of bromocriptine include fatigue, diarrhea and headaches. However, with continued use of the drug, these symptoms tend to improve.