Fertility Drugs: The
Most Common Drugs to Help You Get Pregnant
If you have an ovulation disorder, fertility drugs may be necessary to help you conceive. Fertility drugs are not in vitro fertilization—they won't make you pregnant. You should still follow other tips, such as leading a healthy lifestyle, to maximize your chances of getting pregnant. So, here's a list of the most common fertility drugs that your doctor may prescribe to you.
Clomid or Serophene
Clomid is the most popularly prescribed infertility treatment. It's been around for over 25 years, so doctors know that it works well and has low risks. Serophene and Clomid are both brand names for clomiphene. These drugs are called anti-estrogen. In order to get the ovaries producing eggs they cause the brain to release hormones. The pituitary gland will release both LH and FSH. The hypothalamus will release GnRH.
These drugs are good for women who are trying to get pregnant naturally or who are artificial insemination or assisted reproductive techniques.
Clomiphene is not intended for long term use. If you aren't pregnant within six months, most doctors will want to try a different medication. Clomid and Serophene will help 60%-80% of women ovulate regularly. Around 50% will become pregnant.
When Clomid is unsuccessful, many doctors will suggest injectable hormones as the next treatment to try to regulate ovulation. Here are the most common types of injectable hormones used.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). These include Fertinex, Gonal-F, Bravelle, and Follistim.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). This drug is usually used in conjunction with another fertility drug. Examples of hCG include Profasi, Novarel, Pregnyl, nad Ovidrel.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (Gn-RH). Although it isn't commonly used in the US, it causes the pituitary gland to release LH and FSH. Lutrepulse and Factrel are both Gn-RH.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist) such as Cetrotie and Antagon.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRH agonist) includes Zoladex, Lupron, and Synarel.
Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) combines both LH and FSH and includes the medications Repronex, Pergonal, and Metrodin.
These drugs may be injected either into the muscle or beneath the skin. Your doctor will decide on both the dose and where the injections should be given. The injections last anywhere from 7 -12 days.
These hormones have a success rate similar to clomiphene, with 50% who successfully ovulate becoming pregnant.
Like the hormones listed above, Antagon (ganirelix acetate) is an injectable drug. Rather than causing ovulation, it inhibits premature ovulation from happening to women who are having fertility procedures.
If you are going to see your doctor about taking a fertility drug, prepare a list of questions before you go. Since your doctor is an expert, she or he may not think of the questions that you may have. Having a list of questions before you go can help you be prepared during the meeting.