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Fertility Medications 101: A Beginner’s Guide

From intrauterine insemination (IUI) to in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility medications often play a crucial role in fertility treatments. These medications help optimize various aspects of fertility and reproductive function, including stimulating ovulation and preparing the uterine lining. There are many types of fertility medications that specialists may recommend, which can feel overwhelming if you’re just starting on your journey. Below are some of some of the most common fertility medications.

Common Fertility Medications

Clomiphene

Clomiphene is often prescribed to women who aren’t ovulating normally. It works by blocking estrogen receptors in the brain so that the body perceives estrogen levels as being low, which helps stimulate the release of hormones called GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone). These hormones then trigger the ovaries to produce eggs. These medications are frequently combined with other fertility treatments, such as assisted reproductive techniques or artificial insemination.

Injected Hormones for IVF

Injectable medications play a crucial role in IVF by stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which increases the chances of successful fertilization. These medications are typically administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly and are carefully monitored by fertility specialists to ensure the best possible outcome. The use of injectables requires precise timing and adherence to the prescribed regimen, making it essential for patients to follow their treatment plans closely under the guidance of their healthcare team. There are several types generally used, including:

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): This hormone triggers egg growth in the ovaries.
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG): These drugs combine FSH and LH (luteinizing hormone).
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): This hormone stimulates the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland, but it’s not frequently prescribed in the U.S. 
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH agonist): This hormone suppresses ovulation by stopping the production of estrogen and progesterone.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH antagonist): This hormone prevents early release of LH and premature ovulation in women preparing for IVF.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): These medications are used in conjunction with other fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to release an egg.

Progesterone

Progesterone is vital in IVF for luteal phase support as it prepares the uterine lining to receive and nurture the embryo, enhancing the chances of successful implantation and growth. This hormone can be administered as a vaginal suppository, orally, or through injections, ensuring adequate levels to support early pregnancy. By stabilizing the uterine environment, progesterone plays a critical role in maintaining the pregnancy during its initial and most delicate stages.

​​Other Fertility Medications

Other fertility drugs, such as ganirelix acetate, cabergoline, and bromocriptine, may also be prescribed. Ganirelix acetate is an injected drug that can prevent early ovulation in women undergoing fertility procedures. Cabergoline and bromocriptine can lower certain hormone levels and reduce the size of pituitary tumors that may be causing ovulation difficulties.

Financing Your Fertility Medications

Not all aspiring parents need fertility medications to conceive, but many do, especially those undergoing treatments like IVF. Unfortunately, these necessary medications can make fertility care more expensive, but that’s where Bundl Guard comes in. 

Bundl Guard is a unique multi-cycle plan that allows you to “bundle” multiple IVF egg retrieval cycles into one reduced package with a singular up-front cost. To further help reduce financial risk, Bundl Guard comes with IVF risk protection, which offers assurance that your treatment will be 100% refundable if not successful. Our most popular package, Bundl Guard is now available with medications – Bundl Guard with Medications™. This package offers the same benefits, customizations, and risk protection as Bundl Guard, plus medications as part of the singular up-front cost, protected by 100% refundable risk protection.

Contact us today to learn how Bundl can help you finance your fertility journey.

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