Q: What medications are available to induce ovulation?
A: There are several medications available to induce ovulation:
- Clomiphene citrate (Serophene or Clomid) is a pill taken by mouth, usually for 5 days starting on cycle days 2-5. Clomiphene is a drug that fools the brain into thinking that estrogen levels are low. As a result, the brain releases more FSH to stimulate the ovaries to develop a follicle.
- Gonadotropins are injectable hormones similar to FSH. They are given to stimulate the development of a follicle in the ovary. When the brain will not adequately produce its own FSH, gonadotropins are injected to bypass the brain. They are often given in conjunction with hCG, and come in two basic forms: recombinant and urinary.
- Recombinant gonadotropins are synthesized and as such they are pure. Examples are Gonal-F (follitropin alfa for injection) and Follistim (follitropin beta for injection).
- Urinary gonadotropins are derived from hormones found in human urine, usually that of menopausal women. They include: Fertinex (urofollitropin for injection, purified), Pergonal, Repronex [Package insert, Humegon (menotropins for injection,USP).
- hCG (Profasi, Pregnyl) is a hormone that is given when a follicle is ready for ovulation. hCG mimics the activity of the body's natural hormone LH.