Fertility Medications: Common Questions Answered
During an IUI cycle, vaginal ultrasound and/or a urine ovulation detection kit are used to ensure that the procedure is conducted at the time of ovulation. Many IUI patients undergo ovarian stimulation by taking prescribed drugs such as clomiphene citrate or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
While IUI is often recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with male factor, some couples need to consider the additional option of donor sperm.
A Glossary of Medications
All but the first of these fertility medications consist of naturally occurring reproductive hormones.
Clomiphene Citrate or CC: (Clomid, Serophene) is a synthetic hormone that blocks the action of estrogen (classified as an antiestrogen) and induces the hypothalamus gland at the base of the brain into secreting more FSH and LH (collectively called gonadotropins). The result is increased follicle development. CC is primarily used for correction of ovulatory dysfunction and is administered orally. Sometimes another medicine called Letrozol (Femara®) is used in this way.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH: (Bravelle, Follistim, Gonal-F) stimulates the ovaries to produce follicles. FSH, typically increases the number of eggs produced. FSH is injected under the skin, usually in the upper leg or abdomen.
Human Menopausal Gonadotropin or hMG: (Pergonal, Repronex) contains both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce more follicles, thus increasing the number of eggs. HMG is injected under the skin. They are often used in conjunction with FSH.
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