Trying to conceive? What are Fertility drugs? How do they work?
Fertility drugs are the medicines which are prescribed to restore the fertility. They induce ovulation. They are used in women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders. They act like natural hormones FSH and LH to bring about ovulation.
They are also used in IVF treatments. Here though the woman has normal ovulation, these drugs are given with intention of producing more eggs.
How are these fertility drugs administered?
They can be administered orally or through injections
What are the hormones involved in ovulation?
To understand the action of fertility drugs, it is important to know the basics of ovulation. It is the functioning of several hormones that brings about ovulation. Any imbalance in these hormonal system leads to various problems, infertility being prime among those. GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) are the hormones that regulate ovulation. They send message to the ovaries to release eggs.
Which are the commonly used oral drugs for infertility? For how long can they be used?
1. Clomiphene Citrate (for example, Clomid) is the first drug of choice in treatment of infertility due to ovulation disorders. It acts by releasing the hormones GnRH, FSH and LH which stimulate the ovaries to release eggs and bring about ovulation.
Clomid Pregnancy: Normally the doctor starts with a mild dosage of the drug which is administered on 3rd, 4th and 5th day of menstrual cycle and increases the dosage until ovulation occurs. Once ovulation starts, the drug is given for until 6months. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, doctor will advise for other medicines.
2. Metformin- This drug is used where infertility is caused secondary to insulin resistance. It is commonly used in patients with PCOS. This drug reduces the insulin resistance and brings about ovulation
Which are the injectable fertility drugs? When are they used?
If oral drugs don’t bring about pregnancy, injectable forms are used.
Commonly used injectable drugs include:
1. Human Chorionic Gonadotripin (HCG)
2. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
3. Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (HMG)
4. Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
5. Gonadotropin Releasing Agonist
6. Gonadotropin Releasing Antagonist
What are the complications (side effects) of fertility drugs?
1. Multiple pregnancies (twins from use of fertility drugs)
2. Enlarged ovaries (Ovarian hyperstimualtion syndrome)
3. Mild symptoms like blurring of vision, nausea, headache, bloating.
Are fertility drugs used in men also? If so, which ones are they?
Yes, fertility drugs are used in men also.
Commonly used drugs include:
1. Clomiphene Citrate- This releases FSH and LH which sends message to testicles to produce testosterone and bring about healthy sperm production.
2. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin- This helps in promoting healthy sperm production
What are the indications of these fertility drugs in men?
1. Primary hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
2. Sometimes prescribed in men with low sperm count
For how long can fertility drugs be used?
They can be used for 3-6 months.
Brand Names of Fertility Drugs
Note: This list is provided for information only, and this article is not a recommendation for the use of any of these drugs. Please consult your fertility doctor.
1. Clomiphene Citrate such as Clomid, Serophene etc.
2. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin such as Pregnyl, Novarel, Ovidrel, Profasi etc.
3. Follicle Stimulating Hormone such as Follistim, Fertinex, Bravelle, Gonal-F etc.
4. Human Menopausal such as Gonadotropin-Pergonal, Repronex, Metrodin etc.
5. Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone such as Factrel, Lutrepulse etc.
6. Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist such as Lupron, Zoladex, Synarel etc.
7. Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist such as Antagon, Cetrotide etc.
Take a Medical Second Opinion
There are several infertility treatments and avenues available. If you don’t know what to do next, or where to go, you can confidentially and directly ask top specialists in the Infertility, Obstetrics, Gynaecology panel who can give a medical opinion online. Being knowledgeable will ensure that you make an informed decision. Contact us if you need more information on how to get medical second opinion from a top Ob/Gyn and Fertility specialist.