4 Medications for Ovarian Stimulation

4 Medications for Ovarian Stimulation

If you’re a woman, and you’re struggling to get pregnant, know you’re not alone. Studies suggest that 12% of women in the United States between ages 15 and 44 struggle with infertility. 

Thankfully, fertility drugs can help increase your chance of conceiving and carrying a baby to term. Experts recommend seeking fertility treatments if you’ve had multiple miscarriages or have been trying to get pregnant for longer than 12 months. 

You may also want to seek out treatment if you have irregular cycles or any underlying health conditions that can affect your ability to get pregnant. 

Our team led by Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS, and David Barad, MD, MS, FACOG, at the Center for Human Reproduction located on the Upper East Side of New York, New York, offers medications for fertility, including ones that can stimulate your ovaries. Let’s look at what you can expect from these commonly prescribed fertility drugs.

Medications that address issues with ovulation

When it comes to issues that cause infertility, troubles with ovulation are one of the most common. In fact, 1 in 4 women find that irregular ovulation is the root cause of their infertility. 

Four medications commonly used to address ovulation issues include:

1. Clomiphene citrate (Clomid®or Serophene®)

Clomiphene citrate — sold under the brand names Clomid and Serophene — encourages ovulation by blocking estrogen receptors. The medication stimulates your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, both located in your brain, and releases the hormones gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). 

These hormones then work together to trigger your body to produce eggs. Clomiphene citrate is typically used in conjunction with assisted reproductive technology such as intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Clomiphene citrate is an oral medication and has a success rate of about 60-80%.

2. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

FSH is an injectable hormone that’s used to stimulate the production of several mature eggs during an ovulation cycle. This injection is often used during in vitro fertilization (IVF) to make sure there are multiple eggs during the egg retrieval process. 

The brand names for FSH are Bravelle®, Follistim®, and Gonal-F®.

3. Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) 

This injectable fertility medication is made up of natural FSH and LH that are obtained from menopausal women. It’s produced under the brand names Repronex® and Menopur®

hMG is used to help regulate ovulation for those who ovulate regularly or spontaneously and help produce several mature eggs at the time of ovulation. This injection can be used in preparation for either IUI or IVF. 

4. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) 

Another medication that’s injected, hCG is a natural hormone that’s very similar to LH and is sold under the brand names Novarel®, Pregnyl®, Profasi®, and Ovidrel®. This injection can be used during IUI or IVF.

hCG triggers your body to release a mature egg 36 hours after the medication is injected. This fertility drug also stimulates the production of progesterone to make sure that the lining in your uterus starts to thicken.

How to know which medication is right for you

While all of these fertility drugs have great track records in helping women conceive and carry a pregnancy to full term, these medications work differently for everyone. To determine which is right for you, our team can give guidance on what’s best for you.

To set up an appointment to talk about ovarian stimulation and how it can help you with your infertility, give us a call at 626-385-7918 or use our online booking tool today.

Author
Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS, is an infertility specialist specializing in autoimmune diseases at the Center for Human Reproduction in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City.

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