Ovulation Induction with Injectable Fertility Medications to Treat Female Infertility
For more than 20 years, our clinic has been helping couples and individuals struggling with infertility. As a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), Dr. Rispler or Dr. Berger can evaluate patients to identify potential road blocks to conception. One common cause of female infertility is ovulation dysfunction.
Ovulation disorders can disrupt fertility
Each month, the female body will release a mature egg for fertilization and prepare to support implantation and pregnancy. If the reproductive system isn’t functioning correctly, an egg will not be released, making conception impossible. Approximately one-fourth of infertile women have some type of ovulation dysfunction, based on data from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Oral fertility medications provide first-line treatment options
If your doctor determines that a patient is not ovulating regularly, he will prescribe a fertility drug. Designed to trigger the body to release several eggs and increase pregnancy chances, this medication can correct ovulation issues related to anovulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), pituitary disorders and irregular menstrual cycles.
Moving on to injectable gonadotropins as the next step
Most fertility specialists do not recommend using oral fertility medications for longer than six cycles. At this point, we often suggest proceeding with injectable gonadotropins, which contain FSH, LH, or a combination of the two. By using injectable fertility medications, we can help women whose pituitary glands do not produce enough of these hormones as well as encourage development of multiple follicles for fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and/or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Both urinary-based and synthetically-produced gonadotropins are available for use. The urinary-based gonadotropins are derived from the urine of post-menopausal women and then purified. Synthetically-produced gonadotropins are generated using recombinant DNA.
How injectable gonadotropins work
During a cycle with injectable fertility medications, we will closely monitor patient progress in our office with regular blood work and frequent sonograms. At the specified time, you will begin the injections on the specified day of your cycle and continue as directed, usually for about 12 days. Exact dosing and duration can depend on several factors, including age, weight, previous response, and so on.
Careful monitoring reduces risks associated with injectable fertility drugs
As with any medication, certain side effects do exist. Breast tenderness, swelling at the injection site, abdominal bloating and mood swings are fairly typical. Injectable fertility medications can also increase the risks of multiples in pregnancy or result in a serious condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which causes pain, swelling and sometimes fluid build-up. Your doctor will carefully watch your cycle to ensure that everything is proceeding as planned.
If you don’t ovulate and fertility drugs have failed, injectable gonadotropins may result in the desired outcome. After a complete evaluation and testing, we can help you move towards a successful pregnancy, so contact our office to schedule an appointment.