Not every woman is lucky enough to become pregnant in a few months. Fertility obviously plays an important role, both in men and women. Reduced fertility can not only be detected from failure in getting pregnant, but menstruation troubles can be an indication. Uncovering the causes of reduced fertility usually requires the help of a doctor. The treatment is a specialist's task.
A typical example of IVF looks as follows:
Step 1. Repression of the natural hormonal cycle
Step 2. Stimulation of egg production
Step 3. Monitoring the progress
Step 4. Collection of the eggs
Step 5. Insemination of the eggs
Step 6. Re-implantation of the embryo
You will find an overview of the most commonly used medication for reduced fertility below.
Human choriongonadotrofine (HCG)
HCG is a hormone produced by the body that stimulates ovulation and the ovaries in women to produce the sex hormone oestrogen. In men HCG stimulates the production of testosterone needed for the formation of new semen. Examples of HCG are Pregnyl, Ovitrelle, Profasi and Novarel.
GnRH-analogen (hypothalamus hormones) inhibit the production of female hormones which enables greater ovulation control. GnRH-analogues exist in two types: agonists and antagonists. The difference between both is that antagonists can prevent early ovulation in a more direct way. GnRH-agonists are for example Suprecur (busereline), Prostap (leuproreline), Synarel (nafareline) and Decapeptyl (triptoreline). Examples of GnRH-antagonists are Cetrotide (cetrorelix), Ganirelix, Orgalutran (ganirelix) and Antagon.
Clomiphene stimulates the release of hormones that control the maturation of the eggs and ovulation in women. The Clomid drug is an example of clomifen.
Ethinylestradiol has the same action as the female sex hormone oestradiol and makes the mucosa of the cervix more accessible to sperm cells.
Gonadotrophins (FSH and LH)
Gonadotrophins (FSH and LH) play an essential part in the natural cycle. FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) ensures that the follicles (egg vesicles) grow and start producing the female hormone oestrogen. LH (luteinising hormone) stimulates the actual maturation of the egg cell and starts the ovulation process. Examples of gonadotrophins are Gonal-F, Menopur, Merional, Fostimon, Puregon, Bravelle, Follistim, Pergonal and Repronex.
Prednisolon / Medrol
The generic name of Prednisolon / Medrol is a Methylprednisolone and is a corticosteroid (synthetic drug). It usually is given for a period of four days during the IVF-cycle to assist the pre-embryo implantation.
Doxycyclines are antibiotics in pill format and are used by the man during the IVF cycle of the woman to decrease the minimal quantities of bacteria in the sperm. Those bacteria can jeopardise the performance and quality of the sperm during an IVF cycle.
Progesterone increases the chance of pregnancy after re-implanting the embryos in IVF treatments. Examples of progesteron preparations are Gestone (progesterone), Cyclogest (progesterone), Crinone (progesterone 8% vaginal gel) and Utrogestan (progesterone).