The First Step In Fertility Treatment
Infertility continues to be a shared concern of men and women. Infertility occurs if pregnancy does not happen after 1 year of trying. There are close to 6 million cases of infertility in the US. As a first treatment step, a doctor may try fertility medication for either men or women. Since the 1960s, doctors have used fertility medications to increase the success rate of pregnancy.
Your hormones and pregnancy production
A healthy reproductive system goes through a range of chemical reactions involving the pituitary gland. In women and men, the gland uses gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH. This helps produce 2 important hormones. In women, FSH or follicle-stimulating hormones help the ovaries to produce a mature egg. FSH also helps with estrogen production. The second hormone, called luteinizing hormone (LH), helps with ovulation. In men, FSH and LH help with sperm development and testosterone production. Fertility drugs affect one or more of these hormones if a doctor suspects an imbalance.
Boosting fertility in women with medication
Women have a range of fertility drugs available to improve the chances of pregnancy. The most common fertility medication stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more FSH. This, in turn, causes the ovaries to produce more mature eggs. This increases the chances of pregnancy. However, there is an increased chance of multiple births.
Going straight to the source
In some cases, doctors may inject hormones called gonadotropins to stimulate the ovaries directly. These include direct injection of FSH or other hormones like hMG and hCG. These hormones increase the production of progesterone and create the release of a mature egg. Doctors may use these medications together for women unable to produce eggs. Women using gonadotropins have between a 23-32% pregnancy success rate.
Guys need help too
Male factor infertility makes up about 50% of infertility cases worldwide. Doctors struggle to treat male infertility, as most cases are unexplained. However, there are some cases where fertility medication can help. Like women, fertility medication aims to stimulate the production of the hormones needed for a successful pregnancy.
Medications for men?
Certain fertility drugs are primarily used for women. However, men may be able to benefit from the same treatment. As fertility medications stimulate FSH production, this may increase the production of sperm and testosterone. Once a doctor performs the necessary tests, a fertility drug can be the first step in treatment.
Injecting life into male factor infertility
Fertility injections like gonadotropins and FSH are just as helpful for male factor infertility. These drugs can boost testosterone, sperm production, and sperm quality. Doctors administer these drugs via injection. They directly stimulate the testes to produce more sperm and testosterone. These injections also restrict excess production of hormones like estrogen and prolactin, which can affect fertility. Fertility medication has mild to serious side effects. Speak with a doctor about any concerns while on a fertility regimen.
Get started with fertility medication today
Fertility medication is an important step in the treatment of infertility. Doctors may even use these drugs with fertility treatments like IUI and IVF. There is a delicate balance of hormones needed for a healthy reproductive system. Persons struggling to get pregnant should see a doctor right away. From there, the doctor will prescribe the right combination of fertility medication for a healthy pregnancy.