Hope for mature women
Fertility drug combo promising in older women
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The combination of two drugs - Femara (letrozole) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) - could be of benefit in infertile women of advanced reproductive age undergoing intrauterine insemination, results of a study indicate.

In infertile women, FSH is often used to stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs, followed by intrauterine insemination (injection of sperm into the uterus).

Dr. Mohamed A. Bedaiwy from the Toronto Center for Advanced Reproductive Technologies, Toronto, and colleagues took a look back at a group of infertile women aged 40 and older who had controlled ovarian stimulation using FSH alone or in combination with Femara, followed by intrauterine insemination.

Pregnancy rates were comparable in the two groups, the researchers report in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. Seventeen of 90 women (18.9%) in the Femara/FSH arm and 13 of 69 (18.8%) in the FSH only arm became pregnant.

In addition, compared with FSH only treatment, Femara/FSH co-treatment required a lower dose of FSH to achieve egg development optimal for intrauterine insemination.

Moreover, Femara co-treatment, the researchers say, may decrease the risk of "ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome," a problem that can arise when using drugs to stimulate egg production in the ovaries.

Adding Femara to FSH "could be a good initial option offered to older female women in combination with intrauterine insemination," Bedaiwy and colleagues conclude.

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