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Drugs That Help the Ovaries Release Eggs to Become Pregnant

by
author image Amber Canaan
Amber Canaan has a medical background as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and pediatric oncology. She began her writing career in 2005, focusing on pregnancy and health. Canaan has a degree in science from the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and owns her own wellness consulting business.
Drugs That Help the Ovaries Release Eggs to Become Pregnant
Some medications to induce ovulation are given via injection. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Overview

Infertility specialists often prescribe medications to help the ovaries produce and release mature eggs, otherwise known as ovulation. Certain health conditions can prohibit a woman from ovulating, thus preventing pregnancy from occurring. Medications that cause ovulation are available in injectable and oral forms.

Clomid

Clomid, also known as clomiphene citrate, is a medication used to induce ovulation in women with ovulatory difficulty. Clomid is taken orally, once per day starting around Day 5 of the menstrual cycle for five days, according to Drugs.com. Ovulation occurs five to 10 days after the course of Clomid is completed. Side effects include hot flashes, abdominal pain, breast soreness and headaches.

Femara

Femara is an oral medication originally used to treat breast cancer patients, although ovulation was found to be a side effect. The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago reports that some women who don't have success with Clomid achieve pregnancy with Femara. It also lacks many of Clomid’s side effects, making it a more comfortable option for some. Femara is also used to induce better ovulation, or super ovulation, in women who ovulate on their own already.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin is an injectable medication. It includes a hormone known as FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone, which stimulates the ovaries to mature and release an egg. It's given either in a muscle, or in a layer of fat. The UCSF Medical Center says the medication should be given in the evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

FSH is available as two injectable medications, Follistim or Gonal-F. It works by stimulating the ovaries to produce more than one egg and is sometimes used concurrently with hMG. Injectable medications such as FSH and hMG also increase the risk of multiple pregnancies. Patients receiving this medication are followed closely with ultrasounds to monitor for overstimulation of the ovaries.

Metformin

Metformin is an oral medication used to induce ovulation in women who haven't had success with Clomid. It can also be used concurrently with Clomid to increase success rates. InfertilitySpecialists.com says Metformin may cause weight loss in some women.

Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)

Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone, or GnRH, is given through a pump that constantly delivers the medication throughout the day and night. Shared Journey says patients receiving this type of medication have a 90 percent chance of ovulating and an 80 percent chance of becoming pregnant within eight months.

Bromocriptine

Women who don't ovulate due to high levels of the hormone prolactin may benefit from bromocriptine. Bromocriptine is an oral medication that doesn't increase the risk of multiple pregnancies and doesn't cause overstimulation of the ovaries.

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