Today’s fertility medications are quite advanced and can help with ovulation problems, follicle development, and male fertility issues related to hormones, infections, and erectile dysfunction (ED). For women, daily and multiple injections may be necessary, which is why our qualified nursing specialists will train you in the use of your medications. Medications are effective but have, in some instances, significant cost. To help manage the expense of your medications, we work closely with pharmacies who, because they specialize in fertility care, offer medications at a more competitive cost than standard pharmacies. The medications you may be prescribed may include:
- Clomiphene – We often prescribe clomiphene citrate for some women who have irregular cycles. It may be used in conjunction with timed intercourse or combined with intrauterine insemination. Also known by brand names as Clomid® or Serophene®, clomiphene has been shown to be very effective in some patients with anovulatory infertility.
- Letrazole (Femera) – An aomatase inhibitor, this medication is utilized to treat some patients with ovulation abnormalities and acts by blocking estrogen formation in the body.
- Injectable hMG – Human menopausal gonadotropin is composed of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and leutinizing hormone (LH). hMG is utilized to stimulate follicular development. It is useful in women who do not ovulate or whose ovulation is irregular and where there has not been a appropriate response to clomiphene or letrazole treatment. hMG is used to increase the number of follicles developed in an IVF cycle. Brand name hMG medications include Menopur® and Pergonal®.
- Injectable Leuprolide (GnRH agonist) – The ovaries usually prepare one dominant follicle for egg production. Leuprolide, or Lupron®, allows the development of multiple follicles during gondatropin stimulation and prevents a premature LH surge and premature ovulation.
- Injectable Antagon® and Cetrotide® (GnRH antagonists) – These medications are similar to Leuprolide in that they prevent premature LH release from the pituitary gland during ovarian hyperstimulation.
- Bromocriptine – This oral medication is effective in allowing ovulation if your body has elevated levels of prolactin. High prolactin can cause amenorrhea and anovulation. Bromocriptine lowers the prolactin level and restores normal menstruation and ovulation in many women with elevated prolactin and otherwise normal pituitary gland function.
- Injectable human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – Often prescribed under the brand names of Novarel®, Profasi®, or Pregnyl®, hCG is a natural hormone that helps the eggs to mature and triggers ovulation within 36 hours of administration. hCG also signals the body to prepare the uterine lining for implantation by inducing ovarian production of progesterone.
- Injectable Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) – Often sold under the brand names Bravelle®, Follstim®, and Gonal-F®, FSH medications work by stimulating the ovary to develop multiple follicles, thus increasing the possibility of conception. Injections are generally once or twice daily, and the ovaries are monitored with ultrasound so that ovulation can be predicted to allow for timed intercourse, insemination, or egg retrieval for IVF.
- Injectable Heparin – A blood thinner utilized to prevent miscarriage in selected patients.
Medications and hormones for men
- Injectable Gonadotropins – These hormones are used to stimulate the testicle, reverse low sperm count, and improve sperm function in some cases where there is inadequate testicular stimulation by the pituitary gland. Gonadotropins include injectable hCG, FSH, and LH/FSH combination.
- Testosterone – When natural testosterone levels are low, they can be a reflection of what is causing the infertility. Though rare, in some cases, your doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement by injection, patch, cream, or gel.
- Antiestrogen and aromatase inhibitors –Men with low levels of testosterone may also be prescribed clomiphene or tamoxifen if they have a deficiency of pituitary LH and/or FSH. These oral medications may improve sperm production by increasing pituitary gland release of LH and FSH, allowing for increased testicular stimulation by these hormones.
- Bromocriptine – too much prolactin can reduce testosterone levels and cause diminished sperm production by inhibiting pituitary LH and FSH release. Bromocriptine is prescribed to lower prolactin levels and allow for increased LH, FSH, and thereby testosterone and sperm production.