Taking Medical Supplements for Infertility

If you have gone for fertility testing, then these are some of the medications you or your partner may be put on.

Progesterone
This can be administered in various ways (orally, vaginally, injection or suppository) and is used to help make your uterine lining more hospitable and viable for eventual implantation. Progesterone is something you have naturally, but taking a supplement to help out your uterus will aid in your chances of a fertilized egg implanting. You would take this supplement after you’ve ovulated.

Clomiphene
This is an oral drug that can make your ovulation cycle more regular or jump-start the ovulation process if you haven’t been ovulating at all. The drug works by stimulating the production of more FSH, which will help your eggs mature to a healthier state or can just be the motivation your body needs to start ovulating. However, because this drug blocks the production of estrogen, your uterus may not form a proper lining, which can obviously affect your chances of successfully becoming pregnant. Also, there is a suspected link between the drug and ovarian cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that the drug not be used for an extended period of time (three to six months is normal). You also have an increased chance of having twins if you use this drug.

Gonadotropins
This is an injectible drug that helps promote the release of mature eggs and can either be used by itself, when you undergo in vitro fertilization or if you decide to have an intrauterine insemination (IUI). Some of the problems with this injectible is that it can lead to multiple births and over stimulating your ovaries (known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS). OHSS can cause bloating, urinating less, nausea and vomiting, which is a result of your ovaries releasing too much fluid along with blood vessels that begin to leak fluids. This can lead to more serious side effects, which may require hospitalization and can even be life-threatening. Like clomiphene, there is a chance that gonadotropins may have a link with ovarian cancer. Again, it is recommended that the drug not be used for an extended period of time.

Take Note
Clomiphene and gonadotropin are the general names for different groups of drugs. You may receive something that does the same thing but has a different name and will work slightly differently than another drug from the same group. Be sure to ask your health care provider about whatever type of drugs you might receive.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD