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Choosing the best fertility drugs typically depends on the reasons you are infertile. For example, a doctor may prescribe fertility drugs to improve egg quality, stimulate the ovaries to ovulate, or even delay ovulation in preparation for fertility treatment. As a patient, you are unlikely to have to choose your own fertility drug, but you may do well to learn about the options, so you can have input into your own medical care. In general, choosing the best fertility drugs may mean selecting the most effective medications that have the fewest or least-serious side effects. Clomiphene citrate is among the most popular of fertility drugs, but hormone injections are frequently used as well.
If you have been diagnosed infertile because of poor ovulation, a doctor may prescribe a fertility drug called clomiphene citrate. This drug stimulates the body to produce estrogen that, in turn, encourages the ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is often effective, but may cause such side effects as nausea and vomiting; hot flashes; bloating; and thinning of the lining of the uterus. You may also be more likely to experience a multiple pregnancy or deal with swelling and tenderness associated with overstimulated ovaries when taking this drug. Some people find injectable fertility drugs more effective and less likely to cause side effects.
Often, doctors also prescribe hormone injections for treating infertility. For example, a doctor may administer an injection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to stimulate ovulation. It may also be used, in conjunction with other drugs, to stimulate the release of mature eggs. Sometimes doctors also administer follicle stimulating hormone to encourage the ovaries to produce eggs or human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) to encourage ovulation. Injections of hMG include both luteinizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormone, both of which are critical to the ovulation process.
In general, the side effects of hormonal injections used as fertility treatments are fairly mild. For example, you may feel sore at the injection site or develop minor swelling where the needle pierced your skin. In some cases, however, your ovaries may be overstimulated. Injectable hormones may also increase your risk of giving birth to more than one child at a time. If you have a choice of hormone treatments to try, it may make sense to choose the drug with the best track record for success and the lowest risk of side effects.
Sometimes fertility drugs are also used to keep ovulation from happening prematurely. If, for example, you are undergoing a fertility treatment, ovulating too early may interfere with the timing of the procedure. In such a case, a doctor may administer a drug called ganirelix acetate via injection. Unfortunately, this medication does cause side effects, including pain in the abdomen and headaches. It may also cause fetal death in some cases.