ART Medications Overview
A woman’s body normally produces only one egg that is released for fertilization each month. To increase the chances for successful pregnancy, female patients are given certain medications that induce the ovaries to develop several mature eggs rather than the single egg. In addition to fertility medications, additional medications are used to schedule ART cycles, particularly for synchronizing patient cycles with egg donors or surrogates, induce ovulation at the appropriate time and enhance uterine receptivity and embryo implantation. Injectable medications commonly used in ART treatment include:
- Gonadotropins: Hormone medications containing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and/or luteinizing hormone (LH) that stimulate the ovary to produce multiple follicles (see Table 1).
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): A hormone medication with a similar chemical structure to LH, which is used to trigger ovulation at the appropriate time when the follicles are ready (see Table 1).
- Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs: Medications used to prevent the body’s own release of LH and FSH from the pituitary gland (see Table 2). Note: The GnRH agonists (Lupron) can also be used to induce a flare-up or LH “surge.”
- Sex Steroids: The natural hormones estrogen and progesterone that are made in the ovary and by the placenta (see Table 3).
- Growth Hormone: Used as an adjunct for ovulation induction for low responders.
Other medications can be administered by alternative routes (oral, vaginal or nasal sprays).The following is a list (in alphabetical order) of medications and hormonal preparations you may be prescribed: