List of Common Fertility-Related Medications
Over the course of your fertility treatment, you may be prescribed different medications. These may be delivered as oral medications (pills or capsules), topical medications (patches, creams or suppositories) or as an injectable. Different medications may be more commonly known by their brand names, and some medications may have similar sounding names.
To help our patients, we have created the following list of medications that are commonly used in treating patients with fertility issues. Please note that this list is by no means comprehensive and that these medications should only be taken under the direction of a physician.
Clomiphene Citrate – Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation
Brand Name: Clomid
An oral medication used to induce ovulation or superovulation. It is also used to stimulate extra follicles and eggs to mature in the ovaries during the same menstrual cycle.
Letrozole – Aromatase Inhibitors
Brand Name: Femara
An oral medication used to “trick” the body into suppressing estrogen levels. This causes the brain and pituitary gland to create more Follicle Stimulating Hormone which can assist with induction of ovulation or lead to superovulation.
Gonadotropins – Follicle Stimulating Hormones
Brand Names: Follistim, Gonal-F
The primary injectable fertility medication type used to stimulate the ovaries. The injectable medications are often used for controlled ovarian stimulation during IVF cycles, but can also be used with intercourse or artificial insemination/intrauterine insemination.
hMG – Human Menopausal Gonadotropin
Brand Name: Menopur
Used to induce controlled ovarian stimulation often in conjunction with FSH injections, in women for IVF. It can also be used to treat conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, or pituitary issues that may be affecting fertility.
hCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Brand Names: Pregnyl, Novarel, Ovidrel
Used to mimic the lutenizing hormone that signals ovulation. It is routinely used to trigger ovulation when gonadotropins are used to stimulate ovulation.
Leuprolide – Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH) Agonist
Brand Name: Lupron
Used to prevent premature ovulation and to create a clean slate on which to create a controlled ovarian stimulation cycle for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other procedures.
Ganirelix Acetate – Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH) Antagonist
Brand Names: Ganirelix, Cetrotide
Used in controlled ovarian hyper-stimulation cycles for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other procedures to prevent premature ovulation.
hGH – Human Growth Hormone
Brand Names: Omnitrope, Saizen
Used before and/or during controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) that may help improve egg/embryo quality, especially among women older than 40 years.
Brand Name: Progesterone intra-muscular (injection in oil or other solute); Prometrium (pill), Provera (pill), Endometrin (vaginal suppository)
Various forms are used during both IVF and non-IVF treatments, to improve endometrial receptivity, early pregnancy support, and to prevent recurrent miscarriages. Delivered using intramuscular injections in oil, vaginal suppositories, or oral pills.
Brand Names: Estradiol (Estrace pills), Vivelle (Skin patches), Estradiol Valerate (intra-muscular injections)
Used in both IVF and non-IVF treatments, to improve endometrial growth, early pregnancy support, and in preparation for IVF as “priming protocol.”
Used to help “recruit” eggs in IVF preparation cycle leading up to COS and egg retrieval.
Corticosteroids – Anti-Inflammatory
Brand Names: Prednisone (methylprednisolone), Dexamethasone
Used as an anti-inflammatory and/or inhibits androgens during COS and embryo transfer. May also be used to treat auto-immune conditions that may impact fertility.
Brand Names: Zithromax (Azithromycin), doxycycline, Flagyl
Used to treat infections that may be affecting fertility or during certain fertility procedures to reduce the risk of infection.
Baby Aspirin (81mg)
Used in fertility treatments or in patients who have repeated miscarriage to improve implantation potential. Baby aspirin can increase womb thickness, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
Brand Name: Viagra
Increases blood flow. Used for endometrial lining development and ovarian responsiveness.
Brand Name: Trental
Increases blood flow. Used for endometrial lining development.
Blood thinners – Anticoagulants
Brand Name: Heparin, Lovenox
Used to help prevent miscarriages due to blood clotting of placental vessels.
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