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Fertility Medications

cure-1006827_640One of the most common, least invasive methods to treat fertility issues involves using fertility medications.

Understanding various types of fertility medications is an important component for all fertility patients, both women and men alike.

If fertility medications are unsuccessful at treating a fertility issue, our fertility experts will help determine what the next step should be.

Most Commonly Used Fertility Medications

The most common fertility medications are classified as ovulation induction drugs. Ovulation induction medications are approved for patients with various ovulation disorders with the goal of producing a single mature egg during a treatment cycle.

These drugs may also be used for what is known as “super”ovulation in patients with normal ovulation function. These medications stimulate the ovaries to produce more than the usual one follicle per month, thus increasing the number of eggs exposed to sperm and increasing the chance for pregnancy.

Another type of ovulation induction medication is classified as gonadotropins (Repronex®, Follistim®R, Gonal-F®). They can stimulate the ovaries to produce many dominant follicles each cycle. Gonadotropins are currently administered by injection. These fertility medications can be used in combination with sexual intercourse, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to enhance your chance for conception.

Dr. Trolice Discusses Protecting Fertility

Risks of Fertility Medications

Use of fertility medication carries risks that can vary depending on the patient’s diagnosis as well as the response to specific medications. In general, the most common risks-often more associated with the gonadotropin class drugs are listed below. 

This side effect occurs in about 1-5% of cycles. The ovaries become enlarged due to overstimulation by fertility medications. The blood vessels supplying the ovaries become ‘leaky’ and this results in fluid collecting in the abdomen. In severe cases (~1%) hospitalization is required for close monitoring. The problem lasts for 1-2 weeks but can be longer if pregnancy results.

Since fertility medications cause more follicles to be stimulated, there is a higher rate of multiple births. The multiple birth rate with clomiphene citrate is 5-10% and with gonadotropins it is 15-20% per pregnancy. In order to put these statistics in perspective, the chance for a couple to have a multiple birth spontaneously is about 1-2%.

This situation occurs when the embryo implants outside the uterus, most commonly in one of the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy occurs in approximately 2% of women attempting to conceive, but this number may be slightly higher with the use of fertility medications.

Twisting (torsion) of the enlarged, stimulated ovary can occur in about 1% of cycles. The ovary is cut off from its blood supply, causing abdominal pain. Surgery may be required to untwist the ovary or, rarely, remove it.
Controversial and undetermined data exist associating fertility medications with ovarian cancer. The risk is probably related to continued ovulation in infertility patients. Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills, both of which prevent ovulation, decrease the risk. Recently, a summary of medical studies did not demonstrate a relationship between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have any age cut-off for evaluation?

We will evaluate female patients from the age of 18 years old to 55 years old.

Can I get pregnant if I no longer have menses (menopause)?

The answer can vary depending on the cause of the lack of menses. You will need egg donation if you are menopausal. You may need to be treated with fertility medications if the problem is hormonal.

How long does this whole process take?

Time will vary depending on what is involved in your treatment. If your fertility treatment includes intra-uterine insemination (IUI), the process typically takes about two weeks. During these two weeks, your ovaries will be stimulated to produce follicles and ovulation will occur; thereafter an insemination is performed. For in vitro fertilization (IVF) the process takes a bit longer, lasting anywhere from 4-6 weeks prior to egg retrieval.

How many embryos are transferred?

There are multiple factors that must be considered, and input from the patient is critical. At one time, we generally transfer anywhere from one to five embryos.

Are urine pregnancy tests as reliable as blood tests?

No, because your hydration level can affect the urine test. The tests are predictable to about 25 mIU per mL of bHCG. Where as blood tests are predictable to approximately 2 mIU per mL. A very early pregnancy could be detected with blood levels but might be missed with a urine pregnancy test.

The IVF Center – Why Fertility CARE is Unique

Dr. Trolice and the team supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Dr. Trolice and the team supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month.

At Fertility CARE we recognize the process of IVF can at times be overwhelming.

To address this issue, we have an IVF Nurse available 24/7 to answer questions, guide you through the process, and provide emotional support. We also offer a Reproductive Health Psychologist to help couples develop their best coping strategies along their journey.

Success of the IVF Program at Fertility CARE is due to our scientific and technological excellence coupled with our compassionate and highly personalized approach to patient care.

Fertility CARE is committed to each couple’s success by providing individualized and supportive care along the way. We consider each couple part of our family as we attempt to help them create their own.

What our Patients are Saying

“We are forever grateful for Dr Trolice and his staff. They not only gave us the family we so desperately wanted…they helped mend our broken hearts along the way.”

Fertility CARE Patient, Facebook Review

“Fantastic doctor. He allows you to ask as many questions as you want and always has a positive attitude. If you are having fertility problems, go see him!”

Fertility CARE Patient, RateMds.com Review

“We can’t thank Fertility CARE and Dr. Trolice enough for their compassion and expertise. Their concern during every step of our journey was invaluable. We have gone to other fertility doctors before Dr. Trolice and keep kicking ourselves for not going to Dr. Trolice first!”

Fertility CARE Patient, Vitals.com Review

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