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A Primer on Pharmacological Treatments for Female Infertility

Ellen Scharaga

Ellen Scharaga obtained her bachelor of science in pharmacology from St. John’s University in New York City. As an operational consultant at Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, Ellen Scharaga assists patients in addressing health conditions such as organ transplants, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and infertility.

The primary form of treatment for women who are infertile because of ovulation disorders is taking fertility drugs. These help to stimulate a better egg or additional eggs and regulate ovulation in a manner similar to natural hormones, including luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Infertility treatment depends on age, how long infertility has persisted, cause and personal preferences.

Commonly used infertility drugs for women include clomiphene citrate, taken orally to stimulate the pituitary gland to cause ovulation, and metformin, used when insulin resistance, typically presents in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, is causing infertility.
Injections of gonadotropin drugs may be used to directly stimulate the ovary to produce multiple eggs to enhance fertility. However, gonadotropins are believed to increase the risk of conceiving multiple times and delivering prematurely. Common types of gonadotropin drugs include FSH and human menopausal gonadotropin.

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