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Video:Overview of Infertility Drugs

with Dr. Ingrid Rodi

Infertility drugs can be very effective at helping women get pregnant. Watch this About.com video to learn more about the different types of infertility drugs and their uses.See Transcript

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Transcript:Overview of Infertility Drugs

Hi, I'm Dr. Ingrid Rodi and I am a specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with RodiMD.com. Today I am talking to you on behalf of About.com about infertility drugs.

What Are Infertility Drugs?

Many women have irregular cycles as a basis for their difficulty getting pregnant. A variety of medications have been developed to help treat this problem. Infertility drugs can be grouped according to their function or purpose. 

Infertility Drugs to Regulate Ovulation

Drugs that regulate ovulation: women who have irregular cycles are often started on Clomiphene citrate (also known as Clomid). This medication comes in pill form and is usually given for five days at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. It is usually given first, not because it works best, but because it is a pill and is less expensive than the alternatives. The other medications are called gonadotropins. These medications are administered by injection and are quite expensive. A woman requires close monitoring with ultrasound to avoid multiple pregnancy and ovarian hyperstimulation.

Infertility Drugs to Trigger Ovulation

Drugs used to trigger ovulation: some women will mature eggs, but they have difficulty getting them to ovulate. In that case an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) can mimic the effects of LH (lutenizing hormone) and cause the egg to ovulate. This trigger shot is also used in conjunction with Clomiphene and gonadotropins.

Infertility Drugs to Suppress Ovulation

Drugs that suppress ovulation: sometimes it is desirable to suppress ovulation until the conditions are optimal for egg retrieval. These drugs are called GnRH analogues. Some are agonist. Examples of these are Lupron and Synarel. The others are antagonists. Examples of those are Antagon and Cetrotide. Synarel is administered as a nasal spray, and the others are administered as an injection. These medications have risks and require expert monitoring.

Effects of Infertility Drugs

Multiple gestation, such as twins and triplets, are more common when a woman is given fertility medications. Every effort should be made to reduce the occurrence of multiple gestations. The other serious risk of these medications is OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). In this case many eggs are stimulated and the ovaries become very large. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required. With care, the occurrence of OHSS can be minimized.

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