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What Is Bromocriptine?

What is bromocriptine and how can it help me get pregnant? What do I need to know before taking it?

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What is bromocriptine and how can it help me get pregnant? What do I need to know before taking it?

The Bump Expert

Bromocriptine is technically a dopamine agonist. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the brain that secretes hormones. There’s a certain portion of infertility patients -- less than 5 percent -- that aren’t having regular periods because their prolactin (a hormone) level is high. High prolactin levels prevent the ovaries from working properly, making a woman’s ovulation irregular. The idea is to lower the prolactin level so that the ovary can work normally and the woman can more easily get pregnant.

Bromocriptine increases dopamine levels in the brain to decrease the level of prolactin secreted and hopefully allow the woman to start ovulating on her own. The medication is taken orally and could cause lower blood pressure and nausea.

Before prescribing, your doctor will likely take an MRI of your pituitary gland. In some instances, there is a small tumor -- an abnormal growth, not cancer -- that is causing the high prolactin level, and that would need to be treated to get your periods regular again.

For patients not having regular periods, sometimes all they need is to have regular periods, and they can more easily get pregnant.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Will My Irregular Period Harm Getting Pregnant?

How Much Infertility Treatments Cost

How to Deal When Everyone Else Is Pregnant (and You're Still Trying)

Mark P. Leondires, MD, medical director and lead infertility doctor with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut