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How Fertility Medications Are Used for IVF Treatment

PFCLA
27 Jun 2022

For many individuals and couples, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the ideal fertility treatment due to its high success rate. In order to ensure optimal results, fertility medications are commonly used, which is why patients should first consider if they are good candidates for taking the medications required for conventional IVF. 

Let’s consider why fertility drugs are used for an IVF journey and what patients may experience while taking these medications. 

The Role of Fertility Medications in IVF

During IVF cycles, fertility doctors prescribe various fertility medications to their female patients as part of the treatment process. These fertility drugs trigger the release of various hormones that stimulate egg production and maturation while also regulating ovulation. 

By taking these medications, women are essentially made more fertile during the possible egg retrieval and embryo transfer procedure, which improves the chances of a successful pregnancy.

These fertility drugs optimize the treatment process by allowing fertility doctors to time each step of the procedure to meet the needs of their patients.

Types of Fertility Drugs in IVF

There are different kinds of fertility drugs, as well as different dosages that may be prescribed for IVF. This is dependent on many factors, such as the type of IVF cycle being performed, the couple's fertility goals, and if the couple trying to become pregnant has any desire to choose a more natural approach.

However, prescriptions typically include a personalized combination of the following medications:

  • Clomid or Serophene (Clomiphene) – Clomiphene is a type of estrogen-blocking medication. It triggers the release of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone), which signal your ovaries to produce eggs.
  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – Additional FSH may be used in addition to clomiphene to help stimulate the production of eggs.
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) – This fertility drug is a combination of FSH and LH, and can be used to supplement the effects of clomiphene.
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) – This fertility drug is used to trigger a woman’s ovaries to release viable eggs.

The exact medications and types of drugs required for your treatment will be determined during the consultation process. Keep in mind that some of these medications can be taken orally while others will be administered through injections.

Common Side Effects of Fertility Drugs

The side effects of most fertility drugs tend to be mild and temporary. Typically the side effects are milder in oral medications (clomid) than injections (gonadotropins).

Common side effects of Clomid medications include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Tender breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormal menstrual spotting/bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Changes in mood

Potential side effects of gonadotropins injections include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormal menstrual spotting/bleeding
  • Soreness around the injection site

A full list of side effects and tips for managing these side effects will be provided to patients during the consultation process. This will ensure that patients have full transparency of their medications and can find ways to reduce any possible discomfort.

Proper IVF Medication Timing Is Everything

No matter the fertility drugs or hormones a patient requires, their effectiveness will require precise timing. Patients should take the prescribed fertility drugs as directed by their fertility specialist. 

To further promote optimal treatment, all fertility visits must be attended on schedule. Improper dosage or administration of a fertility drug may result in a failed IVF cycle or reduce the potential for a successful pregnancy.

Discussing IVF in Greater Detail

Fertility medications are just one part of the IVF process. There are various lifestyle changes that patients can consider to boost their fertility, and other treatments that can serve as supplements to an IVF procedure. During a visit to our clinic, we cover all of these issues and help patients make an ideal treatment choice given their situation.

Learn More About Advanced Fertility Treatments

If you would like to learn more information about fertility treatments and how they can help you start the family you have always wanted, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. We will work closely with you and discuss all options in-depth so you can make empowered and informed decisions regarding your fertility journey.

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Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided is for general educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Speak to your doctor directly with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information contained herein does not replace any care plan as determined by a physician. 

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