Fertility treatment will start with a visit to a doctor, typically a fertility specialist. You can search for a reproductive endocrinologist in your area here.
Fertility treatment can include medication that stimulate egg and sperm production, or the manipulation of eggs, embryos or sperm. Some types of treatment may require surgical procedures, changes in diet, or treatment of medical conditions that are interfering with pregnancy. Your doctor will explain your treatment plan and the challenges with achieving pregnancy.
The majority of fertility treatments are possible through medication or surgery. A smaller percentage, less than 10%, will require In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). You can read more about IVF here. The success rate for treatments varies depending on the underlying condition.
Fertility medication targets either the stimulation of ovulation in the female, or the increased production of sperm in the male. Ovulation stimulation medication is very effective and will cause ovulation at a rate of around 80%. This does not translate directly into pregnancy as there may be multiple compounding factors. The most common ovulation stimulation drugs are:
Clomid – Clomiphene Citrate
Clomid is often a first option drug for female infertility, however it is used to treat male infertility sometimes as well. While many fertility medications require injection, Clomid is a pill. This ease of use makes it a favorite of many doctors. Clomid is not suitable for some conditions. Clomid might not be an option if you have:
- Ovarian cysts
- Low ovarian reserves
- Blocked Fallopian tubes
- Certain types of cancer that might react to Clomide.
Femara – letrozole and related Arimidex – anastrozole
These drugs were initially developed as anti-cancer drugs, however they are often prescribed off-label to induce ovulation. Your doctor will need to determine if these drugs are a good fit for you.
The family of Gonadotropins include LH (luteinizing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). These drugs are taken either individually or in a combination created by compounding medication techniques.
These drugs are used to supplement conditions where the pituitary gland cannot manufacture LH and FSH on its own. Sometimes these are used during IVF cycles to increase efficacy of the treatment.
Progesterone is used to supportive luteal phase of the female hormonal cycle. Progesterone is primarily manufacturing in the ovary. A woman’s progesterone levels naturally rise and fall during a typical menstrual cycle. Progesterone plays a key role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy.
GnRH Agonists & antagonists
These medications may be used during IVF to suppress the body natural reproductive system.
Learn More About Your Medication
Braun’s fertility experts can help answer questions about your treatment. We work with you and your doctor to ensure that you have the best chance of success with your pregnancy.