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Infertility and Hormones

So they realized that it’s your hormones that are making you infertile? Hormone therapy could be very beneficial in reversing infertility but there are some potential side effects – so ensure that you are informed!

Some medications can control the amounts of hormones in your body to help your body to sort itself out.

The medications listed below could be prescribed for the ladies:

· Bromocriptine – Prolactin prevents ovulation and promotes breast milk production, so bromocriptine suppresses prolactin to help you ovulate. Side effects include nausea, low blood pressue, headaches and maybe even dizziness as well.

· Clomiphene – Clomiphene encourages the pituitary gland to make FSH and LH which stimulate the ovaries to release egg cells. Benefits are that it is quite affordable and effective in women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or irregular periods although side effects may include nausea, tender breasts insomnia and headaches.

· Metoformin – Stimulates ovulation through controlling the male hormones in the body (usually a consequence of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or insulin resistance).

If you (assuming you’re the woman) aren’t releasing eggs then some infertility hormones can make life easier.

· Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) – This contains FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) which are obtained from the urine of postmenopausal women and is usually prescribed if you have difficulties with your pituitary gland and the other medications haven’t worked. Unfortunately they are not always successful and are relatively costly as additional ultrasound scans are necessary to confirm if the drug is working. Dangers include an elevated risk of multiple births, premature births, spontaneous abortion or enlarged ovaries.

· Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) – HCG helps to stimulate ovulation and treats endometriosis by operating in partnership with hMG. Side effects include increased frequency of ovarian cysts, increased risk of multiple births and enlarged ovaries.

· Urofollitropin (FSH) – This may help encourage the ovaries to ovulate and is generally prescribed for women with PCOS if clomiphene doesn’t work.

· Luteinizing Hormone – Releasing Hormone (LH-RH) – These drugs may be given to treat endometriosis or to regulate the pituitary gland. It is quite difficult to administer and it increases your chance of multiple births and infections.

· Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) – Also encourages the body to release eggs by stimulating the pituitary gland.

· Progesterone – Stimulates the uterus to produce a lining for the zygote to implant.

For the gents:

Infertility hormones don’t work for guys as well as they do for the ladies, although they can be helpful in certain circumstances. Here is a list of the hormones and medications that can be prescribed for the men. You’ll see that a few of them are very much like those prescribed for women.

· Testosterone – Regulates general reproductive performance by imitating natural testosterone.

· Gn-RH – This instructs the pituitary gland to release FSH, which tells the testes to manufacture sperm, and LH, which tells the testes to manufacture testosterone.

· Bromocriptine – Testosterone may not be made if you have too much prolactin so Bromocriptine will help lower prolactin levels. Just look out for the hallucinations.

· hCG & FSH – Promotes healthy sperm development. These are considered to be two of the most successful infertility hormones for men.

Possible dangers

Find out what to anticipate from the medication you are taking to prevent any undesirable interactions. A possible hitch with infertility hormones is the increased chance of multiple pregnancies. You’re probably thinking, “You say that like it’s a bad thing!” As much as it seems to make sense to get two (or three or four) for one pregnancy, multiples are more apt to have complications and be premature, thus increasing the risk of further health and growth problems.

Hopefully this has helped you to decide whether you are going to go for the infertility hormones or not. Best of luck to you!

Here is more information on PCOS and Infertility. Here is a website with a free mini-course dedicated to Infertility.