Not everyone’s fertility journey looks the same. Some may be pursuing treatment to grow the family of their dreams. Others may be looking to preserve their eggs or donate them to help someone else. No matter what path you might be taking, there are many fertility medications your doctor may prescribe to help you out.
With all of the advancements in technology, there are a lot more options available than there have been in the past. Treatments often include medications that work like natural hormones to trigger ovulation and can either be taken at the start of in vitro fertilization or on their own to help with other ovulation conditions.
Your doctor or fertility specialist will work closely with you to determine which medications and/or injections will work best for your individual needs. But to help you get started, we’re here to share some information about the most common options available.
Known more commonly by its brand name, Clomid, this oral medication has been used for more than three decades. When taken, it works to either stimulate or increase ovulation for the patient (depending on their situation) and helps make the uterus more receptive to implantation. This is done by helping your body to produce more follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH) and thus reverse any estrogen deficiencies.
Storage: This medication should be protected from heat, light, excessive humidity, and be stored in a closed container at room temperature.Potential side effects may include:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal discomfort and/or bloating
- In some cases, ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS), or excessive enlargement of the ovaries
Much like Clomid, letrozole (whose brand name is Fermara) is an oral pill that increases FSH production to help correct irregular ovulation or ovulation to help your ovaries release eggs. For those who may have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), this fertility medication may be the better choice as it usually results in one follicle developing.
Storage: This medication can be stored at room temperature.
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Joint pain
- Weight changes
- Mood changes
Sometimes used in conjunction with Clomid, these shots contain hormones to help produce follicles (that house the eggs) and to trigger ovulation. There are a few different types of these, for example: Gonal-f, Menopur, Follistim, Novarel, and Pregnyl. These shots are primarily used as IVF medications. Doses will vary and be adjusted according to response to help prevent the chances of producing too many eggs at once.
Storage: Depending on which one(s) you’re using, storage requirements can vary. Some may be stored at room temperature, while others may need refrigeration. Your pharmacy will advise you on what storage method you will need to follow.Potential side effects may include:
- Mood changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Discomfort at the injection site
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) analogues
While going through an IVF treatment cycle, it is important to prevent ovulation of developing follicles, so that a successful egg retrieval can be accomplished. GnRH analogues, GnRH agonists (Leuprolide) and GnRH antagonists (Cetrotide, Fyremadel and Ganirelix) are used in conjunction with gonadotropins to complete the IVF cycle.
Storage of these medications vary on the product used, and that info will be provided by the pharmacy.
- Injection site reaction
- Abdominal pain
Progesterones for luteal support
Progesterone is a hormone that helps prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg (embryo). This is used either after the egg retrieval in preparation for a fresh embryo transfer, or as part of the medication protocol for a frozen embryo transfer cycle.
There are various forms of progesterone; intramuscular or vaginal forms are most common.
Storage of these medications are mainly room temperature, particular product info info will be provided by the pharmacy.
- Injection site reaction
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Abdominal discomfort
- Vaginal discharge
VFP helps with all of your fertility medication needs
For more than 30 years, VFP Pharmacy Group’s team has been working with patients to ensure they feel comfortable and confident starting their fertility treatments, no matter what journey they may be on. Our expert nurses and pharmacists will help answer your questions you may have about your fertility medications, including proper storage and administration. Visit our website for more information or give us a call.