Injectable Fertility Medications

Injectable Fertility Medications (Lupron, Gonal F, Follistim, Menopur, Repronex, Ganirelix, Cetrotide, Ovidrel, Novarel) are used in fertility treatments including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles.  The medications used in Egg (Oocyte) & Embryo Cryopreservation and Donor In Vitro Fertilization cycles are the same medications used for In Vitro Fertilization cycles.  Treatment regimens involving Injectable Fertility Medications can be complex and prior to starting treatments you will meet with your nurse or physician to discuss how the medication is administered and receive a treatment calendar that will guide you through the process.  The Injectable Fertility Medications are listed below with a brief explanation and videos on how to administer the medications, as well as symptoms or side effects that may be experienced during treatment cycles.

 

Lupron

Lupron is a Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone agonist (GnRH) medication used during IVF cycles to achieve better control of ovarian stimulation and prevent early release of eggs from the ovary (ovulation).  Lupron is started 1-2 weeks prior to beginning ovarian stimulation and continued throughout the stimulation.  In women who have not responded well to the medications used during a prior In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycle, Lupron may be used in low doses during the stimulation to increase the response to stimulatory medications.

 

For instructions on using Lupron, please click on the following link

 

Gonal F

Gonal F is purified form of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that is given to women during the stimulation phase of an IVF or an Insemination (IUI) cycle.  It comes in a powdered form or in an injection “pen.”  It is typically given in doses of 75 IU (1 ampule) to 225 IU (3 ampules) and stimulates the ovary to mature more than one egg at a time.  The effectiveness of the medication is determined by measuring estrogen levels (estradiol or E2) during treatment and by measuring follicular growth on the ultrasound.  The follicles are small fluid filled compartments in the ovary where the egg (oocyte) resides.  Follicles that measure 15 mm or more often have mature eggs inside that can be fertilized by the sperm during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles.

 

For instructions on using Gonal F, please click on the following link

 

Follistim

Follistim, very similar to Gonal F, is a purified form of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that is given to women during the stimulation phase of an IVF or an Insemination (IUI) cycle.  It comes in a powdered form or in an injection “pen.”  It is typically given in doses of 75 IU (1 ampule) to 225 IU (3 ampules) and stimulates the ovary to mature more than one egg at a time.  The effectiveness of the medication is determined by measuring estrogen levels (estradiol or E2) during treatment and by measuring follicular growth on the ultrasound.  The follicles are small fluid filled compartments in the ovary where the egg (oocyte) resides.  Follicles that measure 15 mm or more often have mature eggs inside that can be fertilized by the sperm during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles.

 

For instructions on using Follistim, please click on the following link

 

Menopur

Menopur is purified combination of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) that is given to women during the stimulation phase of an IVF or an Insemination (IUI) cycle.  It comes in a powdered form.  It is typically given in doses of 75 IU (1 ampule) to 225 IU (3 ampules) and stimulates the ovary to mature more than one egg at a time.  The effectiveness of the medication is determined by measuring estrogen levels (estradiol or E2) during treatment and by measuring follicular growth on the ultrasound.  The follicles are small fluid filled compartments in the ovary where the egg (oocyte) resides.  Follicles that measure 15 mm or more often have mature eggs inside that can be fertilized by the sperm during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles.

 

For instructions on using Menopur, please click on the following link

 

Repronex

Repronex is purified, synthetic combination of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) that is given to women during the stimulation phase of an IVF or an Insemination (IUI) cycle. It comes in a powdered form. It is typically given in doses of 75 IU (1 ampule) to 225 IU (3 ampules) and stimulates the ovary to mature more than one egg at a time. The effectiveness of the medication is determined by measuring estrogen levels (estradiol or E2) during treatment and by measuring follicular growth on the ultrasound. The follicles are small fluid filled compartments in the ovary where the egg (oocyte) resides. Follicles that measure 15 mm or more often have mature eggs inside that can be fertilized by the sperm during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles.



For instructions on using Repronex, please click on the following link



Side Effects from Injectable Fertility Medications (Gonal F, Follistim, Menopur, Repronex, Lupron)

Injectable Fertility Medications which stimulate the ovaries to mature eggs (oocytes) can have side effects. Some common side effects include a headache, breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting and weight gain. Women using injectable fertility medication for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles also have a 25% of having twins and 5% chance of triplets when pregnancy is achieved with these medications.


Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a syndrome that can occur after the use of injectable fertility medications (Gonal F, Follistim, Menopur, Repronex, Lupron) and rarely occurs after the use of Clomiphene. Women with a history of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or a prior history of OHSS may be more likely to experience OHSS. Symptoms of mild OHSS are similar to the symptoms all women experience when using Injectable Fertility Medications. In more involved cases of OHSS, women may experience weight gain from fluid retention, abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing or decreased urination. If you experience these symptoms after taking fertility medications please contact your physician as you may require an ultrasound and laboratory evaluation, or treatment to reduce your symptoms.

 

Ganirelix

Cetrotide is a Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone antagonist (GnRHa) and is used to prevent early ovulation during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles. It is used in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles as an alternative to IVF cycles using Lupron, and can be used in IVF cycles for women with low ovarian function or who are at risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). It comes in a pre-filled syringe.



For instructions on using Ganirelix, please click on the following link


 

Cetrotide

Cetrotide is a Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone antagonist (GnRHa) and is used to prevent early ovulation during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Insemination (IUI) treatment cycles. It can also be used to help reduce the symptoms associated with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. It comes in a powdered form.



For instructions on using Cetrotide, please click on the following link
 



Ovidrel

Ovidrel is a purified, synthetic form of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is used to “trigger” women to ovulate. It comes in a pre-filled syringe and is given as a one-time, subcutaneous injection when your doctor determines that you have a sufficient number of follicles containing mature eggs (oocytes) during your treatment cycle. It is typically given 24 to 36 hours before planned insemination or intercourse, or 35 to 36 hours before an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) retrieval.



For instructions on using Ovidrel, please click on the following link

 


Novarel

Novarel is a purified form of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is used to “trigger” women to ovulate. It comes in a powdered form and is given as a one-time, subcutaneous injection when your doctor determines that you have a sufficient number of follicles seen on ultrasound containing mature eggs (oocytes) during your treatment cycle. It is typically given 24 to 36 hours before planned insemination or intercourse, or 35 to 36 hours before an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) retrieval.



For instructions on using Novarel, please click on the following link