Posted by Karen Arnold, Senior Fertility Nurse
What medications are used in IVF? In a typical IVF cycle, a few different fertility drugs are used of which there are many different brand names. Here’s a quick guide to what these drugs actually are, how they are administered and what they do:
It may seem strange to start IVF by taking oral contraception, but this may be initially used to help us regulate and control your cycle.
Down regulation drugs (such as Cetrotide, Buserelin)
To get the multiple mature eggs we need for IVF, we need to supress your own natural ovarian function. We do this using a medication that ‘switches off’ natural ovulation and hormones, known as down regulation, so that the medications for successful follicle growth can work properly. The eggs are in the follicles in the ovaries.
These medications are administered daily through self-injection under the skin, using precise doses tailored to you.
Follicle Stimulating Hormones/Gonadotrophins (such as Gonal-F, Menopur, Bemfola, Meriofert)
Now we can stimulate follicle growth using medications known as Gonadotrophins, which contain follicle stimulating hormones.
These are also taken as subcutaneous, or under the skin, injections. We’ll monitor you during this time, performing blood and ultrasound testing every few days so we can track follicle development.
hcG (such as Gonasi, Pregnyl, Ovitrelle)
When scans and tests show your follicles are the right size, it’s time for another medication – an injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, known as hCG. This medication triggers your eggs to go into a final stage of maturation, so they’re ready for fertilisation through IVF.
Progesterone and Oestrogen (such as Cyclogest, Evorel)
After egg collection we use progesterone medication which helps your womb lining to grow ready for embryo implantation and pregnancy. Progesterone medication, in conjunction with oestrogen, is also used if you’re having frozen embryo transfer or using donor eggs to conceive.
IVF medication support
Don’t worry about taking your IVF medications and getting the timing right. Our nurses will give you thorough injection teaching at the start of your IVF cycle, so you can safely administer your IVF drugs at home, with detailed instructions of what to do and when.
We’re also at the end of the phone for help and advice anytime you need it – call us on 0161 300 2730.
Karen joined Manchester Fertility originally in 2001 after returning from Australia where she worked as a midwife within a private hospital. In 2006 Karen left to pursue research in reproductive medicine. Following this year of research Karen then resumed back into clinical practice and remained wi...
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