Q&A: What fertility medications are available?
Can you please give me the rundown on the infertility medications that are available these days? I'm also curious about their success rates.
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. The success rate is about six percent per cycle, or eight to 10 percent when administered in conjunction with IUI.
- 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. The success rate of FSH is 10 percent per cycle, or 15 to 18 percent with IUI.
- 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.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG (Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl),
is a hormone that matures the developing follicles and triggers the release of an egg from its follicle. This drug is given once at the end of the treatment cycle (usually seven to 10 days), two days before the intrauterine insemination is performed. Administration is injection under the skin, with one form now available in pre-filled syringes.