Infertility has become a severe issue for today’s generation. Approx one out of eight couples is affected around the world. However, with the advancement of technology, there are various assisted reproductive technologies like IVF, IUI, ICSI, etc.
Despite the different techniques, fertility drugs are a significant breakthrough in infertility. These medicines help you get pregnant if you have infertility issues. These medicines work in a way that helps in releasing hormones that regulate ovulation. This article will help you understand how these medicines work and help in infertility treatment.
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Fertility Medicines for Women
Fertility Drugs for women are comparatively more than for men because the formation of eggs in the women’s ovaries is easier to stimulate than to increase the sperm count in men. For women, there are several fertility drugs available, some of them are related to hormones like-
1. Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH)
Follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone are the types of gonadotrophic hormones. And by the pituitary gland, all these hormones are released into the bloodstream.
One of the hormones critical for developing puberty and the function of women’s ovaries are the follicle-stimulating hormone(FSH). Before an ovulation follicle releases the egg, it also stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary in women.
In case this FSH hormone is lacking in women, it causes impaired ovarian function and incomplete development. This results in improper growth of ovarian follicles and prevents the egg from releasing, which causes infertility in women. The low level of follicle hormone in the blood is known as hypogonadism. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) fertility drugs is available in many forms of medicines:-
• Follitropin Alfa Lyophilisate
Follitropin alfa fertility drugs is used as a fertility medication to grow eggs in women unable to become pregnant because of ovulation problems. It is also used for various treatments, such as IVF and IUI, to stimulate the growth of eggs in the ovary.
• Urofollitropin Lyophilisate
Urofollitropin fertility drugs is a follicle stimulation hormone (FSH) obtained from urine extracted and purified from human urine samples. This is injected under the skin into the fatty area. Only Bravelle is available as Urofollitropin.
2. Human Chronic Gonadotropin (HCG)
This is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the placenta. To produce progesterone stimulates the corpus luteum. It is an intramuscular injection that is used to trigger ovulation. These medications commonly include Pregnyl, Novarel, profasi, and Ovidrel. It is used to produce eggs or induce ovulation in women.
3. GnRH Antagonists
The common names of medicine include Factrel, Zoladex, and Lupron. These injections given below the skin, and Synarel is a nasal spray. These are given to produce a higher number of quality eggs. And are also used to prevent the mid-cycle hormonal surge, which can result in a cancelled cycle.
Its side effects include headache, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, insomnia, etc.
4. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
These fertility drugs are given as injections to stimulate the pituitary gland to release LH and FSH. Its side effects include slight chances of multiple births, Mild hyperstimulation, which provides for enlarged ovaries, abdominal pain, bloat headaches, and nausea. Etc.
Clomiphene induces ovulation in women who are not making eggs or have infrequent periods or long cycles but want to become pregnant. It is an ovulatory stimulant class of medicine. It works with estrogen, an egg-developing female hormone produced inside the ovaries. Clomid and Serophene are the two medications. These help in increasing the amount of FSH.
Its side effects may include increased chances of multiple births, miscarriage, nausea, headache, breast tenderness, depression, mood swings, ovarian cysts, etc.
6. Human Menopausal Gonadotropin
It is commonly known as hMG. It is only used in women with working ovaries. It is in the form of an injection that contains equal parts of FSH and LH. Common hMG medications are Menopur and Repronex. These are the most commonly used medication for ovulation.
Its side effects include an increased incidence of multiple births, miscarriage, premature delivery, breast tenderness, swelling, mood swing, depression, and hyperstimulation syndrome, which provides for enlarged ovaries, and abdominal bloating.
7. Dopamine Agonists
Dopamine agonists are used to treat hyperprolactinemia. These drugs raise the amount of prolactin produced by the pituitary gland. The common drugs available are :-
Dopamine agonists are used to treat hyperprolactinemia. These fertility drugs raise the amount of prolactin produced by the pituitary gland. The common drugs available are –
- Cabergoline -This is available in the form of tablets as a generic drug.
- Bromocriptine – It is also a kind of a generic drug and is available in the form of tablets taken orally.
Fertility Medicines for Men
Although Fertility Drugs available for men are very few because it is more challenging to increase sperm count than to release an egg in women. However, most fertility drugs prescribed for women are also used to treat infertility in men, as the same hormones control reproduction in both.
It promotes the production and testicular growth by Sertoli cells of an androgen-binding protein. It is a component necessary for the support of maturing sperm cells. Injection given in this case is subcutaneous. It is also known as the Follistim AQ and Gonal-F brand name products.
2. Human Chronic Gonadotropin (HCG)
Human chronic gonadotropin in males acts as LH. It contributes to testosterone development by activating the testicle’s Leydig cells. LH also stimulates sperm production. It is available as a generic medicine. These are also available in Novarel and Pregnyl under the brand name.
3. Clomiphene Citrate
Clomiphene citrate is fertility drugs approved for female infertility but is also prescribed for male infertility. It is usually given to men who have a low sperm count caused by low testosterone levels. This medication helps in boosting testosterone, thus promoting healthy sperm and will improve fertility.
4. Gonadotrophins (hCG and hMG)
This stimulates the testes. So it is used to boost the production of testosterone and sperm count. Sometimes they are also combined with assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
It is available in pills and is used to treat sperm issues. It helps restore average testosterone levels in men with obesity-related hypogonadism.
This bromocriptine prevents the release of the prolactin hormone. This is used to treat infertility caused due to hyperprolactinemia. It is best for men who have abnormal sperm counts.
7. Antibiotics And Antifungal Treatments
Sometimes semen and the reproductive system get infected by bacteria or fungi, which causes infertility in men. So, antibiotics and antifungal treatments for men with positive semen cultures can be a solution.
These fertility drugs can be used for women and men to treat infertility but cannot be used unless prescribed by a fertility doctor. So better visit the best clinic with experienced doctors, undergo treatment, and take drugs as per your doctor’s suggestion.