A large part of going through IVF is using the medications required for the cycle to succeed. The IVF prescriptions recommended by your doctor are intended to stimulate the ovaries in order to give you the best possible shot at conception. Your physician will aim to collect a minimum of eight follicles during your egg retrieval procedure. Since you’re unlikely to produce that number of healthy and mature eggs follicles naturally needed for a cycle, gonadotropins are prescribed.
Effectiveness of FSH Medications
Gonadotropins are administered to infertile women at the very start of an IVF treatment cycle. A baseline dose is calculated by the results of your blood work and your ultrasound. It is not uncommon for dosages to be adjusted as you go along further into your cycle. You’ll be asked to come into your doctor’s office on a regular basis to get your blood drawn and have a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Depending on your hormone levels and how well your ovaries are being stimulated by the medications, a physician will decide to increase or decrease the dose.
The gonadotropins provide the body with the hormone FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone. As long as you’re not suffering from primary ovarian failure and can still produce eggs, gonadotropins will stimulate the ovaries to make numerous eggs. Without IVF medications, most women will only produce one healthy and mature follicle monthly.
Getting enough follicles isn’t the only purpose of gonadotropins. Besides the ideal number of eight or more eggs, the follicles need to be healthy and mature. By mid-cycle, your physician will begin measuring the egg follicles that you’ve produced to the point. Follicles should grow to the size between 13 and 20 mm.
Regular Monitoring of IVF Medications
On average, you’ll take the stimulation medications for eight to ten days. Most women won’t know the date of their egg retrieval procedure until a few days beforehand. Although doctors like to get at least eight healthy follicles for fertilization, it doesn’t mean the procedure won’t be performed if a woman produces less. A fertility specialist will take into account the age and health of the woman.
Brand name gonadotropins include Repronex, Bravelle, Menopur and Follistim. Your IVF prescriptions will come with instructions on how to administer the medication. Your doctor will let you know how often you need to take the gonadotropins, although typically you’ll inject the fertility drug nightly. Talk to your doctor if you experience any side effects over the course of your treatment.