There are several different kinds of fertility medications for women. A number of these fertility drugs work by stimulating your ovaries to produce multiple eggs, helping you conceive. Other medications may help to prevent premature ovulation during an assisted reproductive technology procedure.
A physician may prescribe fertility medications to increase the chances of more than one egg being produced per cycle. This process, called controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, is often used in combination with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fertility drugs are often used to counteract the following health conditions:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Ovulation problems
- Eating disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Weight issues (being either underweight or overweight or following a severe exercise program)
- Excess prolactin or a problem with the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH/Follistim, Gonal-F) and the luteinizing hormone (LH)
Fertility medications for ovulation
If ovulation problems are making it difficult to get pregnant, fertility medications may help. Fertility medications can help to improve your ovarian environment and regulate your ovulation cycles, thereby boosting ovulation to help you conceive. The majority of ovulation problems can be treated utilizing fertility drugs or other high-tech procedures.
- Clomid is an anti-estrogen oral medication that acts on the brain to stimulate the release of more hormones in order to stimulate the ovaries. Clomid is often used as a first-line treatment for ovulatory disorders or unexplained infertility. Clomid, when used in combination with IUI, has demonstrated to improve chances of conception as compared to Clomid only.
- Injectable gonadotropins stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles each month. Patients who do not respond well to Clomid frequently find greater success with gonadotropin therapy. For example, if you have a thin uterine lining you can generally benefit from the use of injectable gonadotropins.
- FSH is a hormone used to stimulate the ovaries to make more follicles and increase production of eggs. Patients take these medications by injection.
- Progesterone is a hormone that has a major role in preparing the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for implantation of an embryo. It may be administered by intramuscular injection, gel or vaginal suppository.
- Lupron makes the brain suppress hormonal production that is necessary for follicle development and egg release. By suppressing your own hormone production, Lupron creates improved control during stimulation of the ovaries when the additional hormonal medications are administered.