Fertility Drugs- What Are They?
Fertility drugs are medications which may be prescribed to women who are not ovulating properly. These medications aim to trigger the production of eggs and it is possible for women to become pregnant using fertility drugs only.
They are also prescribed alongside other fertility treatments such as IVF and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
For men, fertility drugs do not play such a big part in infertility treatment, although some medications may be prescribed.
A Little About Human Reproduction
When human reproduction occurs, the human being is created by a sperm cell and an egg cell. These reproductive cells are known as gametes. Problems with gametes can be a central cause of infertility issues.
In the case of the egg cells, there are three predominant issues that can occur. Firstly some women may not release eggs even though they are having their periods, and secondly some women may not be menstruating at all, due to some health issue or age. Thirdly it is possible that there are too few eggs, or finally, that even though the eggs are being released that they are not of sufficient quality to result in a viable pregnancy.
In the issues of low quality and low quantity eggs, it is unlikely that fertility medication can help. A woman’s eggs develop while she is still in her own mother’s womb and like her other body cells they also age. Whereas a man produces sperm cells right throughout his life.
It is often the case that women who go to fertility clinics are surprised to be told that even though they are having regular periods they are not releasing eggs. Other women have period problems which are more apparent, in so far as they may have infrequent or unpredictable periods, or they may have stopped completely.
It is in cases like these that fertility drugs will be used and as mentioned, this may be a sufficient course of treatment which results in a viable pregnancy for some women.
Some Widely Used Fertility Drugs
Nowadays many fertility drugs have been used successfully and safely for more than thirty years. Let’s take a look at some of the widely used fertility drugs.
Clomiphene is used to stimulate hormones in a woman’s brain to get one or more eggs ready to be released each month. It comes under the brand names Clomid and Serophene.
Gonadotropins are used to directly stimulate the ovaries to produce one or more eggs each month. Brands are: Fertinex, Follistim, Gonal F, Menogon (Europe only), Novarel, Ovidrel, Pergonal, Pregnyl, Profasi, Puregon (Europe only), Repronex.
Bromocriptine is used in the more unusual case of pituitary adenoma being the cause of infertility.