During a normal menstrual cycle, a woman's body usually only produces one mature follicle that results in the ovulation of a single oocyte or egg. For women struggling with fertility and undergoing treatment, Ovulation Induction uses medication to increase the number of eggs released per cycle, which can and may improve their chances of becoming pregnant. The decision to use medication for fertility purposes is one that will be discussed between the patient and Dr. Weisberg.
At First Step Fertility, a number of different medications are used. Click to download the Medication DIN numbers PDF to see if any of the medications will be covered by your personal drug plan.
Patients taking medications can expect to be monitored closely over the course of the treatment to determine their response. Based on their results, Dr. Weisberg will adjust the dosage as necessary and inform them of the optimal time for intercourse or intrauterine insemination.
Injectable Gonadotropins (FSH) are prescribed to directly stimulate the ovaries to increase the number of developing follicles. Though the body naturally produces FSH, the FSH offered to patients is in much higher concentrations than the brain normally provides.
Patients will be taught to administer the medication on their own, at home. The injection, beginning on the second or third day of their menstrual cycle, is usually in the lower abdomen or thigh. Daily injections are continued until the developing eggs are mature and ready to ovulate.
As with any treatment program that involves medication, there are known risk factors associated with taking FSH, which commonly include:
Multiple pregnancy occurs in 20 to 30% of instances of patients taking FSH, and in most cases are twins. Triplets and quadruplets occur in less than 1% of pregnancies associated with FSH. In cases where too many eggs develop at once and the risk of multiple pregnancy is too high, your specialist may instruct you to stop taking FSH and avoid sexual intercourse.
Women taking a course of FSH drugs risk the development of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), a condition in which too many eggs develop at once and the hormone levels in the blood become elevated. In some cases, usually when the HCG injection is given, OHSS can happen after the eggs have ovulated.
If Dr. Weisberg believes you are at risk of developing OHSS, you will be advised to adjust or reduce your dosage, which will slow the development of the condition, or prevent it from worsening. In most cases, the symptoms of this condition may resolve on their own over time, however, if OHSS is severe, you may require other procedures, such as blood work, and draining excess fluids that accumulate internally.
It is common for women who administer FSH drugs to experience pain or swelling at the injection site, while few patients experience bruising or welts. Discomfort can be relieved by applying ice to the affected area