retrieving eggs for freezing

IVF medications

IVF medications explained: most types of medication, side effects, and more

September 20, 2023

Introduction

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical marvel that has helped countless couples and individuals achieve their dream of parenthood. IVF involves a complex series of procedures, and one crucial aspect of this journey is IVF medications. Among these medications, IVF injections and shots play a vital role in stimulating the ovaries, maturing eggs, and increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of IVF medications, with a particular focus on IVF injections and shots.

Understanding IVF Medications

IVF medications are an integral part of the IVF process. They are designed to manipulate the body's natural hormone levels to optimize the chances of fertilization and a healthy pregnancy. These medications are typically administered in the form of injections, which are carefully calibrated to suit the individual's needs and the stage of the IVF cycle.

Types of IVF medication

Gonadotropins

The role of this medication is to promote the simultaneous growth of multiple follicles.

They come in two main kinds:

  • FSH is represented by such brands as Follistim and Gonal-F. That is the same medication but produced by different manufacturers.
  • HMG - brand Menopur

GnRH Antagonists

The main purpose of this medication is to prevent pre-mature ovulation by suppressing the release of the luteinizing hormone LH. It comes in 2 alternative brands: Cetrotide and Ganirelix Acetate. 

Patients usually start taking this medication later during days 7-9 of the cycle and continue taking it till the end of the stimulation.

GnRn Agonist

This medication is used to suppress your natural LH and FSH production, making the stimulation more controlled and the production of mature oocytes more synchronized.

GnRn Agonist is represented by the brand Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate).

Ovulation trigger

This is an injectible medication of human chorionic gonadotropin used to complete oocyte maturation by mimicking the natural surge of LH hormone.

The most popular brands are Ovidrel, Novarel, and Pregnyl. The trigger should be administered at a specific time, and it is usually scheduled 34-36 hours before egg retrieval.

Your specific medication protocol and dosage should be prescribed by your physician based on your individual circumstances. It can also be adjusted during your stimulation depending on how you react to medication.

IVF Injections: side effects

The possible side effects of IVF medications include bloating, headache, pain at the injection area, nausea, vaginal bleeding, mood swings, and OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). OHSS happens in less than 1% of stimulation cycles, and doctors monitor your reaction closely to make sure you don't get OHSS. 

As a part of the process, you self-administer medication injections, but most women tolerate it very well. If you are afraid of shots, we can help you find a nurse to help you with medication. 

Learn more about our fertility support.

The Emotional Aspect of IVF Medications

The IVF journey can be emotionally taxing, and the daily routine of injections and shots can add another layer of stress. It's crucial for patients and their support systems to acknowledge and address the emotional challenges that come with IVF medications. 

Conclusion

IVF medications, including IVF injections and shots, are essential tools in the journey toward achieving a successful pregnancy through in vitro fertilization. While the process may seem daunting, it's important to remember that these medications are carefully tailored to optimize your chances of success. If you're considering or undergoing IVF, book an appointment with the best fertility clinic near you.

Map of all fertility clinics in the U.S.

The biggest database of the best & most affordable fertility clinics in the U.S. near you

Map of all fertility clinics in the U.S.

Need help choosing a clinic & doing the first steps?

Book an intro call $39

Talk to one of our fertility advisors about pros and cons of each clinic, process, preparation. We will share cost & results optimization tips to save $3,000 on average.

Fertility advisor
Hormonal therapy
Fertility dietitian
Fertility psychologist

Read more about fertility

freeze eggs woman