April 4, 2008

Female Infertility Drugs – Hormonal Therapy to Produce Eggs

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Female infertility is a very common condition in today’s day and age. Infertility in women is caused by a number of factors, some of which are environmental and others are genetic. Today there many ways to go around female infertility and still have a healthy baby.


Let’s look at some of the main causes of female infertility.

  • Age is one of the biggest causes of female infertility. Girls usually get menarche or their first period between the ages of 11-15. As they peak, early to mid twenties is their most fertile. Post that period, the fertility decreases and beyond 35, it deteriorates much faster. After the main years of fertility have passed, the chances of the woman conceiving depend on other factors like fitness levels of both the partners too.
  • Smoking plays an important role in female infertility. A woman who smokes or is around secondary smoke produces fewer good quality eggs.
  • Eating disorders or being underweight or overweight – these conditions can also affect the quality of your reproductive eggs.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and delay in treating them can cause damage to your ovaries and possibly, the eggs too.
  • Conditions like diabetes, thrombophilia, exposure to radiation or chemotherapy and genetic factors can all also lead to female infertility.
  • Different infections and conditions in the ovaries, uterus, the vagina and the fallopian tubes can also lead to female infertility – some of which if caught in time, can be treated.

Once female infertility and its cause are identified, some method of treatment can also be employed. If it is a case where the woman is not producing an adequate amount of eggs or eggs of good quality are needed then the woman can be given drugs that make the female produce more eggs.

The treatment of infertility is never a simple one. It always involves many factors. There are multiple drugs today that can be given to the woman if the couple is unable to conceive because of her infertility issues. These drugs stimulate hormones like the follicle stimulating hormone or FSH and luteinising hormone (LH). FSH is hormone that helps produce eggs by stimulating the maturation of egg follicles in the ovaries. Some of the common drugs used today are:

  • Clomiphene citrate – This drug molecule, available in branded form, helps stimulate ovulating in women who suffer from polycystic syndrome or other ovulatory disorders.
  • Metformin – when insulin resistances causes infertility, this medicine is given.
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin – this drug is given to women who fail to ovulate due to a failure in the pituitary gland.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin – This drug is used with other fertility drugs to encourage ovulation.

These along of FSH and LH are the main drugs used for female infertility. In case conception becomes difficult even with these drugs, then surgery or other external help is provided. Assisted reproductive therapy (ART) is also becoming very common these days. Some of the main forms include in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – where the fertilisation of the egg and sperm happens in a laboratory and the embryo is then implanted in the woman’s womb. The other forms include stimulating the man for proper ejaculation or ensuring one sperm of good quality for conception.

All this advancement in science and research has also lead to complications which arise from female fertility treatments. Some common complications are

  • Multiple pregnancies – a common occurrence in ART and often leading to twins or more babies, in turn endanger each other’s lives and the mother’s well being.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS) – a condition like this can occur due to ingestion of all extra hormones and lead to swelling and pain.
  • Low birth weight and birth defects are also a common problem.