Fertility medications are aimed to promote fecundity. Due to large research and testing efforts, the fertility medications that you or any one from your team will be taking are all extremely safe.  However, women do experience some common minor side effects and you should be aware of them. 

The fertility medications can be classified into the following groups: 

 

  •  Urofollitropin prepares the body for ovulation.
  • Another hormone can then be given to actually cause ovulation.
  • Careful monitoring is important to both determine that the drug is acting as expected and to watch for potential adverse reactions. Work closely with your doctor to assure optimal timing of these medications. Please keep all scheduled visits with your physician.
  • Make sure to give urofollitropin at a consistent time on each day it is to be given.
  • Since urofollitropin concentration can vary due to the method of preparation, use ampules  produced in the same lot for each cycle.  Do not save medication that has been reconstituted (mixed) for future use. Medication should be used immediately after reconstitution.
  • Your doctor may suggest rotating injection sites to keep areas from becoming too sore.  Urofollitropin can be injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Warm baths can soothe soreness from injections. Ask your physician about these and other relief techniques.

   

  • Follitropin Alpha and Follitropin Beta are genetically engineered drugs which prepare the body for  ovulation.
  • Another hormone can then be given to actually cause ovulation. Careful monitoring is important to both determine that the drug is acting as expected and to watch for potential adverse reactions. Work closely with your doctor to assure optimal timing of these medications. Please keep all scheduled visits with your physician.
  • Make sure to give Follitropin at a consistent time on each day it is to be given.
  • Follitropin should be protected from light and humid conditions. Store below 77 F.
  • Do not save medication that has been reconstituted (mixed) for future use. Medication should be  used immediately after reconstitution.
  • Your doctor may suggest rotating injection sites to keep areas from becoming too sore. Follitropin can be injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Warm baths can soothe soreness from  injections. Ask your physician about these and other relief techniques.

   

  •  This medication is a hormone which stimulates the ovaries and the testes.
  • It is used in males to stimulate testicular descent or testicular growth and development.
  • In females, this medication is used  in combination with other drugs to induce ovulation.
  • Proper timing of administration is very  important. Work closely with your doctor to assure optimal timing of administration.
  • Do not save medication that has been reconstituted (mixed) for future use. Medication should be used immediately after reconstitution.
  • Your doctor may suggest rotating injection sites to keep areas from becoming too sore. Chorionic gonadotropins can be injected into the thigh, or upper arm. Warm baths can soothe soreness from injections. Ask your physician about these and other relief techniques.
  • The use of chorionic gonadotropin can cause a false positive result from home pregnancy tests.

 

  • Clomiphene initiates the series of hormonal events which result in ovulation.
  • Patients should have intercourse at least every other day beginning the third day after the last clomiphene tablet and continuing for one week.
  • Use of an ovulation detection test, or charting of basal body temperature (BBT) is very important to monitor the patient's response to clomiphene.
  • Vasomotor symptoms (i.e. hot flashes, fatigue, insomnia, breast tenderness, and flushing) occur  in about 10% of patients. These adverse effects are typically reversible upon discontinuation. If these effects become bothersome, talk with your doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have severe lower stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, or vision problems (especially "flickering" around the edge of your vision).

     

  •  Gonadorelin is often used in patients who are having ovulation difficulties due to hormonal  regulation.
  • After reconstitution of gonadorelin, the solution should be stored at room temperature and used within 24 hours. Reconstituted product and diluent should be discarded after 24 hours.
  • Gonadorelin is often given by using a programmable pump that injects a small amount of the drug periodically throughout the day. This is called "pulsatile therapy".
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation has been reported following gonadorelin use, but is rare with pulsatile therapy. Report any abdominal distension and /or abdominal pain to your physician.

   

  •  This hormone is a synthetic hormone and is used to slow down or inhibit  your cycle (down-regulation).
  • When it is used, the body stops producing testosterone hormones in males, and estrogen hormones in females. When the medication is stopped, hormone levels return to normal.
  • Leuprolide is used in the treatment of prostate cancer in men, precocious puberty in children, and uterine fibroid tumors in women. It may also be tried in breast or ovarian cancer in women. Leuprolide is useful in the treatment of several sex hormone dependent disorders (e.g. endometriosis, uterine fibroids, prostate disease in men).
  • Leuprolide is often used to prepare the body for ovulation. Ovulation is then stimulated by the use of other hormonal medications.
  • Leuprolide should be stored below 77 F. Do not store near a radiator or other very warm places.  Do not freeze. Protect from light in the original container until ready to use.
  • Hot flashes occurs in 50 to 70% of patients. Unfortunately, hot flashes do not appear to decrease  with continued treatment. Please discuss any potential side effects with your doctor.

   

  •  Menotropins prepare the body for ovulation. Another hormone can then be given to actually cause  ovulation.
  • Work closely with your doctor to assure optimal timing of these medications.
  • Sometimes a physician may prescribe menotropins for patients who are already ovulating normally. This is frequently done in conjunction with in vitro fertilization.
  • Uncomplicated ovarian enlargement (accompanied by abdominal distention and/or mild abdominal  pain) occurs in about 20% of patients. This usually subsides without treatment in 2-3 weeks.  Patients should advise their physician of any bothersome side effect.
  • Careful monitoring is important to both determine that the drug is acting as expected and to watch for potential adverse reactions. Please keep all scheduled visits with your physician.

   

  •  These tablets are synthetic estrogen tablets, which aim to prepare you for the pregnancy.
  • They are used to thicken your endometrial lining in preparation for an embryo transfer or intra-uterine insemination.
  • Side effects include breast tenderness, nausea and a sensation of water retention.  If you have any leg or calf numbness, chest pain, visual disturbances or shortness of breath, notify your doctor.  These latter side effects are extremely uncommon.

   

  • Progesterone is the body's natural hormone produced to maintain a pregnancy.
  • Following an embryo transfer (or occasionally insemination), these medications are commonly used to boost or help support your own progesterone to help maintain an early pregnancy.
  • This medication can be administered as an oral medication, vaginal suppository, or intra-muscular injection.
  • Side effects seen with Progesterone are nausea, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, mild headache, swollen or tender breasts, joint pain, drowsiness, nervousness, and increased urination at night. These side effects usually subside once your body gets used to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they become bothersome. If you are using the vaginal suppositories, you may experience some vaginal irritation similar to symptoms of a yeast infection. Other side effects that may be seen with Progesterone include changes in vaginal bleeding, skin rash and depression. Contact  your physician immediately if any of these occur.
  • Progesterone is often administered vaginally. If any other vaginal products are to be used, separate their application by at least six hours from the use of this drug.
  • Store in a cool place, away from sunlight and moisture.

   

  •  Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is a condition which can occur when the response to injections to stimulate egg production is greater than normally would be expected.
  • Symptoms associated with OHSS usually begin 4-5 days after the eggs have been collected. In the mild to moderate form, symptoms may include enlarged ovaries, tenderness in the areas of the ovaries, a feeling of discomfort in the abdomen and nausea.
  • If the syndrome is severe, patients may also experience swelling of the abdomen causing shortness of breath and a reduction in the amount of urine produced. This severe form of  OHSS only occurs in less than 1% of women affected.
  • In cases where the OHSS is very severe, hospitalization may be necessary.

We have never experienced any complications of OHSS in any of our oocyte donors at the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine and IVF (KCRM). 


310 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40503 USA
P.O. Box 23777 " Lexington, KY 40523 USA
Phone: (859) 254-8108, (859) 226-7263, (859) 226-7264
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