Fertility Treatment Medications Centre
The Physical and Mental Wellness having been taken care of, we move on to identifying male and female related reproductive symptoms that can be diagnosed and cured by proper medication, thus avoiding Invasive clinical or surgical procedure. Medication can be woman Centric (Ovulation or Egg focused) or Man Centric (focused on Sperm that is produced by a man during ejaculation).
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the process by which an egg becomes mature within the ovary and is released—normally about once per menstrual cycle (once a month). Ovulation is controlled by a delicate balance of multiple hormones produced by the pituitary gland. Some of the primary hormones include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which “activates” a certain number of follicles within the ovary. One of those follicles continues to develop and mature. Luteinizing hormone (LH), also from the pituitary, then increases, telling the mature egg to break free from the follicle and travel down the fallopian tube, where it may be fertilized by sperm.
During a normal menstrual cycle (period), only one or two eggs progress to maturity. In an effort to increase the chances for a pregnancy with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), it is necessary to stimulate multiple eggs to develop. This increases the number of oocytes (eggs) available for ovulation, fertilization and implantation
In order to ovulate, you need to have enough eggs in your ovaries as per right quality for which you need to have the right balance of hormones—FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone—to properly control the process.
Maturity and retrieval of an oocyte (egg) is guided by the number, size and growth of follicles along with the production of Estradiol, the primary hormone produced by a healthy egg. The follicle is a small fluid-filled structure located in the ovary which contains the oocyte. The amount of fluid in the follicle increases as the egg matures, thereby increasing the size of the follicle. This growth can easily be observed and measured by ultrasound. The measurement of Estradiol and Progesterone in the blood also determine maturity of the eggs and the timing of the retrieval. This is why your blood is frequently drawn during your treatment.
Factors affecting ovulation:
As we saw above, hormonal imbalances due to age and lifestyle factors can affect Ovulation.
As you age, you have fewer eggs and ovulation can become less regular, especially in perimenopause (the 5–10 years leading up to menopause). Ovulation can also be impacted by an imbalance in the hormones that control the process, such as in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or by Lifestyle factors such as obesity, malnutrition, sleep disruption, stress etc.
How to test ovulation effectiveness?
Fertility Specialists at PSFC use Ovulation predictor kits, blood tests, and ultrasounds to identify malfunctioning of ovulation before treating them.
There are several oral and injectable medications that are used to stimulate the ovaries to assist with the ovulation process or to produce more than one egg during a fertility cycle. These are called ovulation induction medications or “fertility drugs”.
Because each medication has a different mechanism of action, they can be taken alone or in combination with each other.
The decision to prescribe one medication over another will depend on a woman’s menstrual history and what type of cycle our fertility experts at PSFC have planned.
Read Frequently Asked Questions on Fertility Medication
Types of medication:
- Oral medications such as Clomid and Letrozole will either induce egg production in patients who are not ovulating or in some cases induce multiple egg production when it is desirable to do so.
- Injectable medications that contain Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) – which are hormones that stimulate follicle production in the ovaries – may be used to induce ovulation in patients who:
Starting your course of fertility medication
Your clinical coordinator at PSFC will arrange all the medications for you, with instructions on how to administer them. Your doctor will indicate the dose you need to take on a calendar provided to you.
You will take these drugs usually for 10 to 14 days before the egg retrieval procedure. However, some women, especially women beyond 35, need to take these medications longer or in greater quantities.
Approximately one week after starting these medications, your doctor may ask you to complete a vaginal ultrasound examination which is done at PSFC.
Male Centric Medication
Male fertility decline is a factor in 30–40% of infertility cases. There are four key parameters in sperm – Count, Motility, shape and size that determine the fertility in men. Semen analysis is very often the essential test to be done for treatment of infertility.