While most women ovulate successfully on their own, there are many who experience difficulties. This can be due to conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, hormonal problems where there is a failure of the ovaries to produce mature eggs, or malfunction of the hypothalamus, among other causes of infertility.
Use Of Ovulation Stimulating Drugs With IUI
Sometimes a woman who is planning intrauterine insemination may also need assistance with ovulation. In such a case, ovulation induction is often combined with IUI to maximize the chances of conception. There is a variety of fertility drugs used for ovulation induction and the course of hormone therapy for a woman is determined by her specialist. The most commonly used fertility drugs associated with IUI include progesterone, clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins and Metaformin.
Progesterone And Clomid-The First Line Of Treatment
Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone which plays a significant role in a woman's ability to conceive a pregnancy. If a woman does not produce enough progesterone, she may be put on a supplement to help regulate her menstrual cycle and increase the chances of a successful implantation of the egg.
The most frequently used drug for fertility treatments is clomiphene citrate (Clomid) which has been used successfully for decades to treat irregular ovulation or anovulation. It increases the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH) to regulate ovulation and fertility. It is cycled and administered orally, through suppositories or by injection.
Gonadotropins, FSH, LH and GnRH (Alphabet Soup)
Another group of commonly used fertility drugs which also contain high levels of FSH and LH are called gonadotropins. Taken by injection, these drugs stimulate the ovaries to make many eggs, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy through IUI or IVF. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCH) is a medication that is often combined with clomiphene citrate or gonadotropin therapy and IUI in order to help time the release of the eggs for conception.
Estrogen levels are reduced, especially in women who have endometriosis, by the use of the fertility drug gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. One such product is sold under the trade name of Lupron and is used to control the production of LH and FSH. It is administered by injection and prescribed in conjunction with IVF treatments. GnRH antagonists work in a similar way as GnRH agonists by controlling the amount of LH and FSH released in the body. For procedures like IUI, it is necessary to have the precision for egg retrieval that GnRH antagonists provide. Trade names for these drugs include Antagon and Cetrotide. They, too, are given by injection.
Metaformin is given to patients with diabetes or PCOS to help regulate insulin and male hormones (androgens) which are produced naturally by the body. Androgens are important to help eggs mature and to regulate ovulation, however, if they are excessive, they cause problems in terms of fertility. Metaformin helps regulate androgens and ovulation thus fertility is improved.