What are the Different Types of Fertility Medications?

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  • Written By: A. Ribken
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 06 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Fertility medications are used to treat infertility in women by affecting the hormone levels in the body. These medications are classified by the type of reproductive disorder and the hormone used to treat them. Some are used to stimulate ovulation, or the release of eggs. Others are used to control the menstrual cycle in order to better predict ovulation for procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Progesterone is a hormone occurring naturally, meaning it is not manufactured. It helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy and regulates the menstrual cycle, and if there is not enough in the system, a woman will not become pregnant. It can be administered by injection, in gel form as a vaginal suppository, or by mouth in pill form. Side effects can include nausea, breast tenderness, and depression.

Gonadotropins are infertility drugs that help to stimulate ovulation. They are used in women who are preparing to undergo IVF and can be given with other fertility medications. They come in two forms, urine-based and recombinant, and are given by injection. Recombinant medications have been genetically manufactured.


Another type of fertility medications are called GnRH agonists, or gonadotropin-releasing hormones. This type of drug is also used in women who are undergoing IVF and is given to control ovulation by stimulating and then suppressing the process. This is important to the IVF process, giving control of the reproductive system to the doctor to properly time the required procedures.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists are also used for ovulation control, but they can be used for a shorter period of time than the agonists. Timing is very important in IVF, and the use of these fertility medications make it easier to pinpoint when the eggs are ready to be retrieved. Both types of GnRH are given by injection. Side-effects can include nausea, headache, and occasionally a syndrome known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) where the ovaries become swollen and enlarged.

The hormone hCG occurs naturally and is also used to stimulate ovulation. It is given as an injection, and has the advantage of lasting a long time in the body. There are no serious side-effects associated with this drug. It is often used with other fertility medications.

Other drugs used in treatment of infertility can include aspirin or heparin, which have been shown to decrease the incidence of miscarriage. Antagon is used to prevent premature ovulation, useful when a woman is going through fertility procedures. All of these drugs can be self-administered at home under the supervision of a doctor's office, which will carefully monitor the dosage and hormone levels with regular blood tests.



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Post 3

In addition to prescription medications, there are also many supplements out there that claim to improve fertility by balancing hormones. Some work and some don't. Doctors may recommend some supplements but most people find them through their own research. Although a doctor's approval should be taken before starting on supplements, especially if there is ongoing fertility treatment by a doctor.

I've heard great things about Chinese medicine for fertility. Chinese medicine uses herbs instead of medication but they can have similar effects. I made an appointment with a licensed doctor trained in Chinese medicine. I'm also looking into fertility acupuncture.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- It depends on what's causing the infertility. Every woman experiencing infertility is not put on the same exact medication. The doctor will first run tests to find out what is wrong and then will prescribe medication based on that.

I personally had irregular fertility cycles and problems with ovulation so I was put on clomifene. It's a selective estrogen receptor modulator; in simple words, it causes ovulation. I was able to get pregnant after a few months of using the medication.

See a doctor and let them determine what type of treatment you need.

Post 1

Which type of fertility medication are women put on first to increase fertility?

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