What are the treatments for infertile women?


Treatment options for women with infertility depend on her unique circumstances. Age, length of infertility, partner's age, and personal preferences including financial fortitude will guide the choice – and there are many options to choose from. Fertility drugs are the go-to for women whose infertility is related to ovulation disorders. These medications regulate ovulation and work like natural hormones. Commonly used drugs include:

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophere).

This drug is taken orally and stimulates ovulation for women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or any number of other ovulatory disorders. The active ingredient in the drug will cause the pituitary gland to release more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and more luteinizing hormone (LH). Both of these stimulate the growth of a follicle containing an egg. A mature follicle will then release the egg giving the woman a chance for fertilization.

Human menopausal gonadotropin (Repronex, Menopur).

This medication is administered as an injection and is used for women who don't ovulate on their own. This might be due to a failure of the pituitary gland to kick start ovulation. Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) directly stimulates the ovary without the help of the pituitary gland. This drug also contains FSH and LH.

Follicle stimulating hormone (Bravelle).

FSH stimulates the follicles in the ovaries to release an egg.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (Ovidrel, Pregnyl).

Used with clomiphene, hMG and FSH, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) stimulates ovulation.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs.

For women with irregular periods or for those who ovulate prematurely (before the follicle is mature), Gn-RH analogs suppress pituitary gland activity so that a doctor can induce follicle growth with FSH.

Aromatase inhibitors (Femara and Arimidex).

Use of this cancer medication is off-label. Doctors sometimes prescribe them for women who don't ovulate and don't respond to clomiphene citrate.

Metformin (Glucophage).

If there is insulin resistance as the suspected cause of infertility this is the drug that may be prescribed.

Bromocriptine (Parlodel).

If a woman's irregular cycle is due to increased prolactin levels this oral medication may be prescribed.

Source: Mayo Clinic


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