Info on Fertility Drugs for Ovulation
- Posted on: Feb 13 2014
by Dr. Deborah Smith
Ovulation induction is where the ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce more eggs and eventually ovulate more eggs. This treatment is usually used in women who either don’t ovulate or ovulate infrequently, have unexplained infertility, endometriosis, diminished ovarian reserve, multiple miscarriages or other fertility disorders. Ovulation induction in the past only used to be used in women who did not make eggs but now it is now being used for so many other fertility problems.
Women should always have a complete and thorough evaluation with a primary care doctor, then a fertility clinic, before taking ovulation inducing drugs. There may be an underlying condition such as thyroid problems that should be treated first and foremost before using fertility drugs. There are several fertility drugs that are used on the market today. These are:
* HCG – Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a natural hormone that is produced when a woman is pregnant or ovulating. It is also used to stimulate the corpus luteum to produce progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation. This drug is self-injectable, and most doctors, or hospitals, teach the woman or her partner how to inject it safely. Profasi, Pregnyl, and Ovidrel are some forms of this hormone. This hormone is used to induce ovulation in women who have taken one of the fertility drugs below.
* Follicle stimulating hormone – FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is used to create ovulation with multiple eggs, also known as superovulation. This drug can be used alone or in conjunction with other drugs, such as Lupron or human menopausal gonadotropin. FSH is only available in injectable form, and there are classes available to teach you how to inject it safely. Follistim, Gonal-F and Bravelle are some forms of this drug.
* Human menopausal gonadotropin – This is a drug composed of LH and FSH. It is mainly used in women that don’t ovulate regularly, or at all, to induce superovulation. This medication is used in both intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. There will often be some monitoring of the ovarian response to this medication. Ultrasound is most often chosen to monitor the ovaries. Menopur and Repronex are all forms of this drug.
* Clomiphene citrate or letrozole – This is an estrogen receptor blocker that causes the body to induce egg production. It does this by making the body believe that estrogen levels are low, causing an increase in production of this necessary hormone. Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is an oral medication, so no training is required to use it. This is sometimes prescribed in unexplained infertility with intrauterine inseminations.
These are different drugs used to induce superovulation for the purpose of conception. It will be up to the Fertility doctor to determine what drug is best and used in conjunction with what treatments. The woman can expect her doctor will do ultrasounds often, sometimes blood tests to monitor estrogen levels, and several urine tests.
When going to your Colorado fertility doctor, be sure to list any medications that you cannot tolerate. You should also bring any medical history of yourself or family history, if you haven’t done this already. If you have diabetes, thyroid issues, or similar problems, the doctor should always be informed. If you have never been trained to inject yourself with a fertility drug, let the doctor know, so a class can be scheduled. Also, if you have any fears or concerns, be sure to bring them up with your doctor before any procedure is made.
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