Fertility Drugs

If your infertility is caused by ovulation problems, you may benefit from fertility drugs. The two main types of medication used for this purpose are clomiphene citrate and human gonadotropins. Fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation are often used with intrauterine insemination, a procedure in which millions of sperm are inserted into a woman's uterus around the time of ovulation to increase the chance of pregnancy.

Fertility Drugs: An Overview

Depending on the infertility testing results, different infertility treatment can be suggested. In 85 to 90 percent of cases, drugs or surgery are used for infertility treatment.
Infertility treatment options can include:
  • Drugs
  • Surgery
  • Assisted reproduction.
There are two classes of fertility drug treatments available in the U.S.:
Clomiphene citrate therapy is usually the first treatment step in female infertility caused by ovulation problems. Two brand names of clomiphene citrate are available: Clomid® and Serophene®.
Clomid and Serophene are taken by mouth. Both of these infertility drugs stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.
Clomiphene is usually the first line of infertility treatment in women with ovulation problems. In women who are not ovulating, 60 to 85 percent will ovulate with clomiphene, and 30 to 40 percent will become pregnant.
However, clomiphene citrate can adversely affect the endometrial lining, and is not applicable for all types of infertility diagnoses.
Human Gonadotropins
Gonadotropin therapy usually follows clomiphene citrate therapy but can be the initial therapy in certain patients. Two brand names of human gonadotropins are available: Repronex® and Pergonal®.
Both of these fertility drugs are injected. Both types stimulate eggs to mature and be released.
Gonadotropins are either purified FSH or FSH/LH combinations.
Since the 1980s, IVF programs have used gonadotropin stimulation to increase the number of oocytes and subsequently improve the pregnancy rate.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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