Follistim is one of the bestselling brand name fertility drugs on the market. Women suffering from ovulation problems are recommended the medication to help them produce healthy egg follicles. As long as you can still produce follicles, Follistim is likely an appropriate choice for your IVF cycle.
Follistim is a form of the FSH hormone produced by the pituitary gland. FSH is short for follicle stimulating hormone and can help women with depleted levels of the hormone. With an increase in FSH, the ovaries will be stimulated and you’ll be able to make the healthy and mature eggs you need for your IVF procedure.
Follistim comes in three doses: 300 IU, 600 IU and 900 IU. Follistim 900 is commonly prescribed because you’re likely to need a daily dose of the medication in order to complete the IVF cycle. Even if your daily recommended dose is not the full amount of the Follistim 900, it’s still given since the pen uses a convenient dial a dose feature.
The Follistim cartridge is placed inside of the pen. Once the Follistim cartridge is primed, you’re ready to use the medication. Set the dial to the recommended number of IUs. Sterile needles will be included with your Follistim prescription. Screw the needle top onto the pen and it can be inserted subcutaneously (into the fatty layer of tissue beneath the skin’s surface). Most doctors will recommend injecting the medication into the abdomen or the thighs. Once the plunger of the Follistim pen is completely depressed, it can be removed from the body.
Note any Follistim side effects and let your doctor know. Follistim side effects could include bowel changes, headache and irritation at the injection site. Your fertility doctor will monitor your egg production by tracking your hormone levels and taking trans-vaginal ultrasounds during regularly scheduled office visits. Your first Follistim dose will be an estimate with the doctor making the appropriate changes based on your results.