Fertility drugs often result in pregnancy for women with ovulation disorders. Generally, these medications cause the release of hormones that help trigger ovulation.
Fertility drugs also aid in the process of in-vitro fertilization and other reproductive techniques.
Controlled Ovarian Stimulation is a technique that results in Superovulation. The process relies on fertility medications to stimulate the ovarian follicles to release several eggs instead of only one or none. Medications control the time of ovulation (ovulation induction), so there will be a predetermined time recommended for sexual intercourse, In Vitro fertilization or Intra-uterine insemination procedures in order to ensure the greatest potential for success.
The primary risk of ovulation induction is the potential for multiple births, occurring when multiple eggs become successfully fertilized. Other risks include the development of ovarian cysts.
Commonly used medications for this procedure:
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) and Letrozole : Oral medications used if a woman has infrequent or long menstrual cycles. It may also be used for the release of two eggs instead of only one.
Glucophage (or Metformin): This medication, used to lower a patient’s insulin level, helps reverse endocrine abnormalities associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Gonadotropins (Menopur, Follistim, Bravelle, GonalF): Injectable medications used to create follicles in conjunction with other medications that stimulate ovulation.
hCG: An injectable medication used to induce egg release.
Parlodel: An oral medication that lowers a patient’s prolactin levels in order to stimulate ovulation.
Medications will differ depending on the cause of infertility. For example, a woman who has problems ovulating but no other infertility issues may be prescribed five days’ worth of clomiphene citrate at the beginning of her cycle. Nearly 80 percent of women ovulate while using the medication. Others may require more aggressive treatment.