When you’re going through an in vitro fertilization cycle, you’re given several IVF prescriptions as a way to get as many healthy eggs as possible. Healthy and mature follicles are retrieved for fertilization before an embryo transfer can take place. Although at the beginning of IVF treatments, you’re likely to only take gonadotropins to stimulate the ovaries, you’ll need to start taking a class of drugs known as LHRH agonists by mid-cycle.
Importance of LHRH Agonists
The reason that LHRH agonists are so important for IVF treatments is tied to the initial fertility medications administered. Gonadotropins are responsible for producing eggs from working ovaries. Since most ovaries only produce a single healthy egg monthly, the medications can cause a surge in the luteinizing hormone or LH. If LH levels get too high before you’re ready for the egg retrieval procedure, it could make your IVF cycle unsuccessful.
The LHRH agonists will interfere with your pituitary gland’s ability to produce LH. Without the LH surge, you’ll experience no disruption in your body’s ability to produce normal follicles. The primary benefit of LHRH agonists is there’s a better chance at IVF being successful and not having to cancel your cycle.
Cetrotide and Ganirelix Acetate Indications
On approximately the sixth day after receiving gonadotropins, LHRH agonists are given. Brand name medications often used by doctors include Cetrotide and Ganirelix Acetate. Unlike the follicle stimulating drugs, Ganirelix Acetate and Cetrotide are typically administered in a single dose. Cetrotide comes in 0.25 mg doses and Ganirelix Acetate in 250 mcg vials.
Ganirelix Acetate and Cetrotide come ready to use with the dosages already pre-measured. You’ll be required to sterilize an area of the skin and then inject the medication subcutaneously. The vial and needle must be properly disposed of after a single use.
An alternative to Cetrotide and Ganirelix Acetate is Lupron. However, many physicians prefer Cetrotide and Ganirelix Acetate since it means fewer injections for the patient. There has also been some evidence that fewer egg follicles have been retrieved when Lupron is used. Your physician will speak to you about the pros and cons of each medication available.