Among the most promising treatments is medical stimulation of ovulation in women who do not ovulate or ovulate irregularly. The best candidates are women who are otherwise normal, and have fertile partners. Serophene® or Clomid® are two of the most common drugs used for the induction of regular ovulation cycles.
Pergonal® is used in replacement therapies for both men and women for replacement of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) deficiencies (natural gonadotropins or sex hormones). In women, these hormones are essential to the successful development of ovarian follicles, which contain the eggs released at ovulation. In men, these hormones initiate the development and ensure sufficient production of sperm.
Follistim™ is a recombinant FSH used for the induction of ovulation in women experiencing an absence of ovulation and in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. The drug acts like naturally produced FSH by stimulating the development of follicles within the ovary.
Gonal-f® is identical to FSH produced by the pituitary gland. This drug helps to develop eggs in the ovaries and is used as a fertility medicine to develop eggs in women who have not become pregnant because of problems in ovulation.
Antagon® is used as a fertility medicine to prevent premature LH surges in women undergoing the fertility procedure of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
Cetrotide® is used to block the LH surge during controlled ovarian stimulation prior to ART procedures. It prevents premature ovulation in women undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation for ART.
Bravelle® (urofollitropin) is a highly purified preparation of FSH extracted from the urine of postmenopausal women. Each vial contains 75IU of FSH. Bravelle in conjunction with hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is indicated for ovulation induction in patients who have previously received pituitary suppression.
Repronex® is an FSH and LH that are naturally produced by the pituitary gland. Repronex is used to cause the ovary to produce several follicles, which can then be harvested for use in gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Profasi® contains LH and is administered at mid-cycle to trigger ovulation of mature eggs. If the infertility factor lies with the woman, medical options are generally available and prescribed first. Successful medical and/or surgical treatments are available for many women who have ovulatory, tubal, or cervical barrier problems, including endometriosis, ovulatory dysfunction, pelvic adhesions, tubal occlusion, or uterine fibroids. If medical and surgical treatments and lifestyle adjustments are unsuccessful, the next option is the application of advanced reproductive technologies.
Blood tests are also used to monitor the response to gonadotrophins. Developing follicles secrete increasing amounts of the hormone estradiol (E2). In conjunction with ultrasound, E2 levels are used to determine the optimal timing for the administration of hCG which triggers the final maturation of the eggs for ovulation, prior to egg recovery.