Stimulating Ovulation

Wonder Drugs And New Procedures To Realize The Dream

Science and technology have opened new doors, and continue to do so, in the realm of fertility treatments. Wonder drugs and new procedures contribute to the anxiety and excitement which occur when a couple is considering and/or beginning fertility treatments. The hope of becoming parents is balanced against the high emotional price tag which accompanies fertility treatments. The considerations are many when embarking upon this journey, including side effects of drugs and the costs of treatments.

There are numerous causes for infertility, some are men's issues and some are issues related to women. A frequent cause of infertility in women is ovulation disorders and for such disorders, fertility drugs remain the primary treatment. Taken orally or injected, these medications generally work by causing the release of hormones which will either trigger ovulation or regulate it. Fertility drugs are an important part of any fertility treatment, whether the treatment is medication only, IVF or IUI.

Clomid - The First Choice For Fertility Treatments

The first choice and most frequently used drug for the treatment of infertility is clomiphene citrate, marketed under the name Clomid or Serophene. The reason it is the most commonly used drug is because it is effective and it has been used for more than 25 years with good success. Clomid and Serophene are antiestrogen drugs which cause the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to release hormones that will stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Approximately 60 to 80 percent of women who take clomiphene citrate will ovulate and ultimately half of this number will conceive and become pregnant as a result of taking the drug.

What Happens When Clomid Fails?

When Clomid fails, the next line of treatment is generally metformin, marketed under the name Glucophage. Frequently women do not ovulate as a result of polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition in which women do not ovulate regularly and therefore have irregular menstrual cycles. Usually Clomid or Serophene is administered to a woman with PCOS, however, when this fails the traditional "next step" is injectable gonadotropins. This usually works for most women, but it is a very expensive method and there is also the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation as a result of using this type of treatment.

Metformin, Alone Or With Clomid Is Also Effective

Originally used as a way to control diabetes, metformin has been found to facilitate ovulation in some women with PCOS. Many women who do not respond to metformin on its own will generally begin ovulating when it is taken in conjunction with clomiphene citrate. Still, not all women respond to metformin and clomiphene and will end up taking injectable FSH medications in order to ovulate and achieve pregnancy.

Injectables To Treat Infertility

Injectable hormones used to stimulate ovulation are human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), gonadotropin releasing hormone (Gn-RH), GnRH Agonist and GnRH Antagonist. Any of these hormonal drugs can be used to either stimulate or control ovulation as a way of treating a number of different infertility problems.

As with Clomid, there is a high rate of success with injectable hormones which stimulate ovulation in women who are in fertility treatments. Of the women who ovulate, as many as 50 percent become pregnant.


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