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Infertility Medications

Infertility Medications

Couples who choose to undergo infertility treatments will find that there are numerous options when it comes to fertility drugs. Based on your medical history and fertility problem, your health care provider can refer you to a specialist, who can prescribe the fertility drugs that are right for you. Here are some common fertility drugs and what they do:

Synthetic Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): This type of fertility drug is used in vitro fertilization, where a healthy fertilized egg is placed in the uterus to increase the odds of implantation and development. It has no known side effects.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): This hormone occurs naturally in a women's body, but is given as an injection during fertility treatments to stimulate the follicle in the ovaries. Side effects of FSH include multiple births, miscarriage, premature delivery, depression, tenderness or swelling at injection site, and abdominal pain.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropins (hMG): An injection with FSH and luteinizing hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce numerous eggs during ovulation rather than just one. The side effects are the same as for FSH.

Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH): Used in injection form, this stimulates a woman's pituitary gland to produce FSH and luteinizing hormone. Side effects are multiple births, abdominal pain, headaches and nausea.

Clomiphene citrate: These are oral tablets that will stimulate your ovulation, causing you to produce an egg each month. It is often used in women who have very irregular periods, or longer than normal cycles. Some side effects are multiple births, miscarriage, depression, headaches, hot flashes, nausea and ovarian cysts.

Bromocriptine/Cabergoline: An oral medication that will reduce prolactin in a women's body, and increase fertility. Side effects include decreased blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

Your fertility doctor may also prescribe GnRH agonists before in vitro fertilization, which will prevent you from ovulating prematurely. They will also help your body produce more eggs of higher quality. You may suffer from headaches, vaginal dryness, hot flashes or mood swings with these injections. Other common fertility drugs are medrol, which is a type of steroid given before in vitro, or an injection of progesterone in a pill, gel or suppository form. Men might be given doxycycline, an oral medication that will reduce bacteria in semen. The drug will also be given to the female to decrease infection after her eggs have been retrieved for in vitro fertilization.


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