Medicine or hormone treatments are often the first steps in fertility treatment. They are also used for in vitro fertilization and other Reference assisted reproductive technologies Opens New Window.
If you have irregular or no ovulation, using medicine or hormones to stimulate ovulation will increase your chances of pregnancy. But these treatments increase your risk of multiple pregnancy. And that poses health risks to both you and your fetuses. When thinking about a fertility treatment:
- Ask your doctor about your risk for having a multiple pregnancy. Find out how to lower the chance of conceiving more than one fetus.
- Think about how a Reference high-risk multiple pregnancy, and the possibility of having multiple disabled children, might affect your life.
- Opens New Window Multiple Pregnancy: Should I Consider a Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction? Opens New Window
Other rare complications—such as Reference ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome Opens New Window—can be caused by hormone shots used to stimulate ovulation. These shots may be used in assisted reproductive technology such as IVF.
In very rare cases, male fertility problems are caused by hormonal imbalances. Men are then treated with medicine or hormones that help the hypothalamus and pituitary gland start normal sperm production.
Reference Ask your doctor questions about medicines you are considering. For example, are there long-term effects? How long will the treatment last? How often you must be tested while taking the medicine? Are there any side effects that will affect your daily life?
- Reference Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). It increases the body's production of hormones needed for sperm production.
- Reference Bromocriptine and cabergoline lower prolactin levels. High levels of prolactin can prevent the release of testosterone and production of sperm.
- Reference Clomiphene (such as Clomid) stimulates the release of hormones that trigger ovulation.
- Reference Gonadotropins. These hormone shots stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs.
- Medicines for Reference polycystic ovary syndrome Opens New Window (PCOS). If you're not ovulating because of PCOS, your doctor might suggest that you take a drug such as Reference metformin along with clomiphene. Learn more about Reference treatment of women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Reference Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). It increases the body's production of hormones needed for egg production.
- Reference Bromocriptine and cabergoline lower prolactin levels. High levels of prolactin can prevent ovulation.
- Reference Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue. This is used for in vitro fertilization.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology