It has been found that 15% of couples in North America and Europe are struggling with infertility. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after trying for a year.
It can be because of the woman or the man or even both. Studies found that one-third of infertility, the problem is with the man, one-third with the woman and one-third with the couple.
However, in today’s technology, there are a lot of treatment that can address infertility. These procedures include drugs, assisted reproductive technology, and also surgery.
Today, we are going to talk about the drugs which are used to help with infertility problems.
Clomid is also known as Clomiphene. It is usually the first line of treatment for women suffering from anovulation, which is the inability to ovulate. Ovulation is the process where an egg is released from the ovaries. The most common cause of anovulation is PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Clomid is commonly used to treat infertility by inducing ovulation in women who do not develop and release an egg on their own. It is usually combined with IUI(Intrauterine Insemination).
Side Effects: mood swings, headache, hot flashes, nausea
Usage: 1 tab daily by mouth for five days. You will take it after your period starts based on the results of your blood work and pelvic ultrasound. Your doctor will determine which day you will start the Clomid.
Cost: Clomid Average Cost $40
Generic Clomiphene $15
Brand name: Serophene and Clomid
Gonadotropins also is a drug to help you ovulate. This medication is usually prescribed if the clomiphene didn’t work. Gonadotropins consists of two hormones, Leutenizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Most of the time, doctors prescribe a preparation containing only the FSH. However, there are instances that the two hormones are used.
These drugs can be given to women who have a hard time ovulation or not ovulating at all. It increases the chance of producing and releasing a single egg.
These drugs can also be given to women who are ovulating. Gonadotropin will stimulate the production and ovulation of more than one egg. This medication is usually used in conjunction with Invitro Fertilization or IntraUterine Insemination.
Usage: Gonadotropins are delivered via injection. The dose and timing will be given to you based on the result of tests taken after the start of your period. You will administer the injection under the skin once a day at the same time every day until you produce a follicle measuring 15-18mm. Blood work and pelvic ultrasound will be done to monitor the growth of the follicle.
Side Effects: Abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting
Brands: Metopur, Rapronex, Bravelle, Gonal-F
Cost: $500 to $5000
Metformin is used to lower blood sugar for type 2 Diabetes. However, it can also be used to manage Polycystic Ovarian Disease.
It is usually used in conjunction with Clomid to enhance the effect. I actually used metformin before fertility treatment, and it helped regulate my cycles.
Usage: Your doctor will instruct you on the dosage, but usually you will take the tablet with food and work your way up to the target dose which is 1,500 to 2000 mg/day.
Side Effects: Diarrhea and nausea
Brands: Glucophage, Glumetza, Fortamet
Cost: $5 to $50
Bromocriptine and Cabergoline
Bromocriptine and Cabergoline are drugs used to treat anovulation caused by high production of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which helps in milk-production.
When prolactin is elevated, it decreases follicle stimulating hormone which causes anovulation or irregular menstrual cycles. Studies show that Bromocriptine can contribute to lower the level of prolactin.
Usage: Your doctor will give you dosing instructions, but usually you start with 1.25 mg with food at bedtime and may increase to 2.5 mg /day. Your prolactin level will be monitored, and the dose will be increased accordingly. It can also be used vaginally.
Side Effects: dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting
Brands: Parlodel, Polodyl, Proctinal, Dostinex
Cost: $50 to $300
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone
Gonadotropin releasing Hormone has been used to induce ovulation. It targets the pituitary gland to produce more luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone.
This drug consists of two groups, the gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist which triggers production of LH and FSH and then the second one is the gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonist which blocks the effect of the agonist.
Usage: Administration can be done via a computerized infusion pump either subcutaneously or intravenously.
Side Effects: mood swings, headache, vaginal dryness
Brands: Factrel, Lutrepulse
Cost: $500 to $6000
There you have it!
There are more drugs out there, but these are the most common ones. As you can see, some of the are cheaper, and some of them are really expensive. It does really depend on your insurance as well.
I hope this list gave you an idea of what fertility drugs out there are available for you. In this way, you will be able to make the best decisions in your journey.
Have you used any of these drugs before? How did your body react to it?