Anyone who took Femara?
10 Replies
manyika - July 1

A friend of mine took Femara last year and she was able to conceive and gave birth to a baby girl last month. She has pcos and have been ttc for 6 years, she tried the Clomid but it wasn't effective so her RE prescribed Femara instead. Femara is used for breast cancer and I was informed that it's no longer being used as a fertility drug.


Samantha27 - July 5

Hi Manyika I am currently on Femara 4th cycle took the last one yesterday and it has helped me ovulate b/c I have never ovulated before so my doctor said that it is working it is only a matter of time before I get pregnant so I am waiting to see what happens I have been trying for 20 months now


skeeter - July 5

I just finished 5 days of Femara. I'll have an u/s on the 10th and if follicles of appropriate size are there I'll give myself a Ovidrel shot and bd. My dr said he prefers Ovidrel to Clomid. He said it doesn't have the emotional side effects that Clomid does. The only side effect I experienced was headaches.


K - July 6

I took Femara last year and I now have a beautiful healthy four month old little girl after 4 years of trying. Femara has never been "approved" for use in fertility by the FDA, but a lot of doctors use it because it works ( this is not an uncommon practice with drugs). Last November at a convention, the REs who went were told that there was a new Canadian study that showed that Femara caused an increased risk of birth defects. The study also was all over the news in December. As a result of the press and study, Novartis (the company who makes Femara) issued warnings to all REs that Femara had not been approved for fertility use and advised of the existence of the study to protect themselves from lawsuits (they already had approx. 900 lawsuits against them over PPA in over the counter cold medication supposedly causing strokes which was in the news a few years back and which a lot of drug companies were sued about) .A lot of REs took the reports as truth, did not research the validity of the study at all, and quit prescribing Femara which I think is a shame. There has been a scientific analysis of the research study that has found that it was likely very flawed. When I saw the reports on the Canadian study I was very concerned because I was already pregnant with my Femara baby, so I did some in depth research, and based on my research I don't have any concerns about Femara. My RE still prescribes it, and I plan on taking it again if I try for a second baby. Here's what I found: My research showed that most of the women who have reported birth defectsafter taking Femara turned out to have already been pregnant when taking the drug (the same thing can happen with Clomid). Also, I found a scientific analysis of the Canadian study that claims that Femara has a higher incidence of birth defects that complained that the Canadian study was likely skewed because a high proportion of the women taking the Femara of the 150 people they followed were older (already at a higher risk of birth defects), and it is also known that the incidence of birth defects is generally higher following infertility treatment, so because they only compared the percentage of defects with Femara to the percentage of defects with a group that had no fertility treatment whatsoever, you can't tell from the study whether the Femara would create any more risk of defect than any other fertility drug. That science group said that the Femara group should have been compared to groups undergoing other types of infertility treatment, not those who had no treatment . That scientific analysis also noted that the group of pregnant women studied that didn't take the drug (the control group) had an abormally low number of reported birth defects, so it might not be the best control group for comparison. According to the March of Dimes, 3-5% of babies in the United States are born with birth defects. The university of Iowa did a study which came out a few months ago that noted that 6.2 % of IVF babies have some sort of birth defect, 5% of IUI babies have some sort of birth defect and that the rate of birth defects in naturally conceived babies was 4.4%. In the Canadian study on Femara, the control group only had 1.8% with birth defects which is unusual, and the Femara group had about 4.7% which is not very far off of what would have been expected anyway, particularly as that group had a lot of older women. Plus the Femara group was not only made up of people who solely took Femara- some had taken other fertility drugs either before or with the Femara as well, which also could have skewed the results. The results of any research report can be misleading based on the data used behind the report. Based on my research, it's my opinion that the news reports were a whole lot of hoopla over a study that means nothing and was completely flawed, but everyone needs to decide for themselves. I think many REs who actually researched the issue will still prescribe Femara although they will advise you of the study and get your consent (pretty much the same warnings most give with Clomid). My husband is a biochemist who used to be a medical research scientist and he can't even believe they would do a study without better "controls" than the Canadian study. He agrees with the scientific analysis I found and he thinks the Canadian study was completely flawed and useless. Again, everyone needs to decide for themselves, but I wouldn't think twice about taking Femara again. In fact, as I said above, I plan on doing so.


Gwenna-mom - July 6

I used Femara. It created eggs, but I didn't conceive. It took Follistem before I finally got my little girl. It was a little funny when I switched from Clomid to Femara. The pharmacist by then was a friend. She felt bad that I had been trying for so long, then I get cancer. I told her I was fine it was just an off package use for the drug.


Samantha27 - July 6

HI skeeter for me too as well the only side effects I had was headaches and it has been working fine for me my doctor said it is only amatter of time before I concieve. K thanks for the information I was concerned when I read about the birth effects aand femara as well but then I found out the same thing you did about most women who took femara was already pregnant. I am currently on cycle day 9 and I am starting opk's tomorrow and monday morning I have an ultra sound scheduled to see if I have any folicles, I amd praying for this to be my month.


K - July 6

Good luck Samantha!! I just did a quick check to see if there was anything new and I found this article showing a new study that has found that Femara appears to be safe for infertility. In fact, that study of over 900 people found that there were less birth defects with Femara than Clomid. Here is the web address for the article in case anyone wants it:


jcr - July 6

K, I am glad everything worked out well for you and your little girl. You helped me decide to go on femara and 1st round plus hcg shot did the trick. I'll use it again if I decide to have 1 more. Thanks for your your information and research. Enjoy your little girl, it goes so fast. My 1st will be 3 when she has a little sister to enjoy. I am due Oct 21st. Good luck to all you ladies and femara worked fine for me. Only side effect was headaches. bellyrubs.


JG24 - July 6

Hi...I took Arimidex, which is another breast cancer drug that is very similar to Femara. Our issues were with my husband's sperm, so we did IUI, and the RE put me on Arimidex and Follistim just so we would have a better chance of conception. I got pregnant from the first IUI, and I now have a beautiful, healthy 2 month-old baby girl who is perfect. Good luck!


K - July 6

jcr, I'm so happy for you!!!!! Congratulations!


skeeter - July 6

Congrats to the mom's!!! I'll be thinking of you all. Baby dust to all still ttc.



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