One step in fertility treatment cycles that can feel daunting to patients is taking fertility medications.
While some medications are pills to be taken via mouth, many medications need to be injected. A good fertility program will have extensive teaching of proper protocol in administering any and all medications that need to be taken by a patient. At Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), there is a two hour "teach class" devoted to instruction on how to use all medications including and especially ones that need to be injected. There is also a library of videos on the patient portal as well as a dedicated team available to answer questions.
Some fertility medications are used to ensure ovulation of at least one egg (ovum or oocyte). Frequently, when undergoing a fertility treatment cycle (IUI- intrauterine insemination or IVF- In Vitro Fertilization), medications are used to grow more than one egg. Medications are given to "stimulate follicle development". Follicles are the sacs that contain the eggs.
The combination and amount of medications given vary greatly and are dependent on the individual patient's response. Often, even in the middle of a cycle, medication amounts will be changed to accommodate the response of the patient and ensure the best possible outcome.
Common Fertility Drugs & Medications
Below is a list of fertility medications that are often used during a fertility treatment cycle.
- Clomiphene citrate (Clomid® or Serophene®)
- Gonadotropins are medications that are injected using a very small needle. These medications, which are used to stimulate follicle development, are known by the following trade names:
Medications Used to Induce Ovulation (Egg Release)
Your body naturally releases another substance called luteinizing hormone (LH) to trigger egg release. There are two additional fertility medications we use to do this at the best time in your ovulation induction cycle:
- hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is an ovulation medicine given by injection which can be used to trigger egg release. Commercial brands are known as:
If you are at the point of starting a fertility treatment cycle that includes medications that need to be injected, make sure that you ask all the questions that you need to- that's what your fertility team wants and expects.