Hopeful parents sometimes need a little help from injectable fertility medications
Our Dallas fertility doctors know that no one enjoys shots, but sometimes injectable fertility medications are necessary to help hopeful parents conceive and bring home a healthy baby. These medications, which are also known as gonadotropins, stimulate the development of the egg-containing follicles in the ovaries to help a woman’s body mature multiple eggs.
How do injectable fertility medications work?
Injectable fertility medications contain follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and/or luteinizing hormone (LH). A woman’s body naturally produces these hormones in the pituitary gland. Normally, the body makes FSH and LH at specific times and in certain amounts so that the body only ovulates one egg each month. When a woman takes these medications, her body may develop multiple mature eggs at once, which is ideal for egg retrieval as part of egg freezing or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Before you begin taking injectable fertility medications, one of our Dallas fertility doctors will schedule you to visit the office for a baseline ultrasound at the beginning of your menstrual cycle. If the ultrasound does not reveal any ovarian cysts, you will start taking one injection each day. Our team members will provide you with instructions and support so that you feel comfortable giving yourself these shots at home.
While you are taking the injectable fertility medications, your doctor will monitor you with blood work and ultrasounds every two to three days. When your largest follicles measure 18 to 20 mm in diameter on ultrasound, you will receive a single injection of hCG. This medication triggers ovulation and you will return to the office about 24-36 hours later for your insemination (IUI) or egg retrieval.
What are the types of gonadotropins?
Follistim®, Gonal F®, and Menopur® are the most commonly prescribed injectable fertility medications by our Dallas fertility doctors. The type of medication that you will receive depends on the results of your diagnostic fertility testing and your doctor’s recommendations.
As with all medications, some patients may experience side effects. One of the most common side effects is bloating. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) has also been reported as a side effect. However, OHSS is very rare and our Dallas fertility doctors provide regular monitoring to prevent it in our patients. With all fertility treatments, the team at Dallas IVF strives to maximize the chance of pregnancy while minimizing the risk of side effects.
Contact us to learn more about injectable fertility medications and how they can help patients become parents. Our Dallas fertility doctors are happy to answer your questions and guide you on your fertility journey.