What Fertility Drugs Are Used During In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
At the Heartland Center For Reproductive Medicine, we take pride in helping people throughout Omaha start the families they've always wanted. This is often achieved through in vitro fertilization (IVF), which fertilizes eggs in a controlled lab setting.
In order to improve the rates of success for IVF, it's common for fertility drugs to be used. Let's consider the importance of fertility drugs right now and go over what certain medications achieve during the treatment process.
Fertility Drugs Are Important for Successful In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
Fertility drugs are a crucial part of the IVF process. These drugs are taken at various phases of the treatment in order to help with hormone regulation and to precisely time certain actions to occur. Without fertility drugs, the IVF process would be far less successful and effective.
As you'll note below, there are different kinds of drugs that are taken in order to address the various stages of the treatment process.
Medications to Stimulate Follicles and Produce Viable Eggs
Follicles don't refer to hair follicles but rather the fluid sacs in which eggs mature within the ovaries. In order to trigger the maturation of multiple viable eggs for IVF treatment, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is often injected. To prevent the early onset of ovulation, it's also common for fertility specialists to administer gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) may be used to assist in the maturation of the eggs.
Medications to Prevent Early Ovulation and Trigger Timed Ovulation
Once there are multiple viable eggs ready to be harvested, it's important to trigger ovulation so these viable eggs can be released from the ovaries. To do this, clomiphene citrate is typically used. Once the eggs are released, they can be harvested and the IVF process can continue. The next step will be to fertilize the eggs in a lab.
If too many follicles are stimulated during the process, the IVF treatment may need to be called off before ovulation is induced in order to prevent a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
Medications for Men During Fertility Treatments
While the majority of fertility drugs during IVF are intended for women, men can take some fertility drugs to help improve sperm quality. Doxycylcine can be taken, for example, to remove any unwanted bacteria from a man's sperm and boost the chances of successful fertilization and a problem-free pregnancy.
Medications for the Embryo Transfer Phase
To help ensure successful pregnancy, a number of drugs can be administered prior to the embryo transfer and implantation phase of IVF. Progesterone supplements can be taken in order to improve the health of the uterine lining, and a steroid known as medrol may also be taken to help suppress immune function and increase chances of successful pregnancy.
Will my IVF treatment be successful?
While these fertility drugs will increase your chances of a successful IVF treatment, it is possible that a first IVF cycle may prove unsuccessful. IVF is a complicated series of processes, and timing is crucial. That said, patients should not feel discouraged if their initial IVF cycle fails. A second IVF cycle can be performed, and successful pregnancy can occur.
Learn More About In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
To learn more about IVF and your many other options for starting the family that you have always wanted, it's important to contact our team of fertility specialists today. We at Heartland Center For Reproductive Medicine look forward to going over the various procedures that can help you start the family you've always wanted.