If you are struggling to get pregnant, fertility drugs may be your solution. A wide range of conditions cause absent or infrequent ovulation, and your doctor can prescribe fertility drugs for you depending on your specific diagnosis. If you are having symptoms of any of the following ovulation disorders, ask your doctor about fertility drugs that might help you conceive. If you haven’t seen a fertility specialist, now may be a good time.
Hyperprolactinemia can cause fertility problems when the pituitary gland releases too much of the hormone prolactin. Excess prolactin interferes with the release of two hormones necessary for ovulation: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Fertility drugs that might help: Bromocriptine Mesylate (Parlodel) and Cabergoline (Dostinex) suppress the excess production of prolactin, normalizing prolactin levels. These drugs have an 85 percent success rate in helping women ovulate.
2. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
An imbalance of female sex hormones with PCOS can cause infrequent or absent ovulation. If you have PCOS, your eggs may not mature fully. Your body may fail to release eggs during ovulation and small cysts may form on your ovaries. This can contribute to infertility.
Fertility drugs that might help: Clomid can help with egg maturation and release, which are both critical for ovulation to occur. Some women with PCOS fail to respond to Clomid due to insulin resistance, which is common with PCOS. In these situations, insulin-sensitizing drugs, such as Metformin, can help. Sometimes, Clomid or Metformin fail to work when taken alone, but are successful when taken together.
3. Pituitary gland not producing enough FSH or LH
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are necessary for proper egg growth and maturation. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough of these hormones, your eggs may fail to mature. If this happens, you will not release an egg and ovulation will not occur. This condition tends to occur in women who are severely underweight, exercise excessively, or are under a lot of stress.
Fertility drugs that might help:
- Clomid can help boost ovulation by signaling the pituitary to produce more FSH and LH, helping the egg mature for release. Clomid success rates are rather high, helping women ovulate about 80 percent of the time.
- Your doctor may recommend fertility drugs called gonadotropins that contain FSH or LH. These drugs come in various forms.
- Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) is an injection containing equal parts FSH and LH. hMG has very high success rates.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) mimics the LH surge, helping you release an egg for conception. hCG triggers the dominant follicle to release an egg and is often used to induce ovulation in conjunction with other gonadotropins or Clomid.
- FSH injections can also help to stimulate follicle growth.
4. Hypothalamus not stimulating the pituitary gland
What it is: A part of the brain called the hypothalamus is responsible for stimulating the pituitary gland to produce FSH and LH. The hypothalamus does this by secreting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). If you are under extreme stress, this process may be inhibited, and ovulation may fail to occur.
Fertility drugs that might help: GnRH can be administered by a drug delivery system. A belt holding a lightweight pump is worn 24 hours a day for several days. The pump releases small amounts of the fertility drug every 60 to 90 minutes into the bloodstream via a small needle inserted under the skin.
While a diagnosis of an ovulation disorder may come as a disappointment, there is hope. More often than not, ovulation problems can be solved with the use of fertility drugs like the ones mentioned above. Talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action for you.