Fertility medications are used during most IVF cycles to stimulate the ovaries to produce a larger number of eggs without ovulating. The cost of IVF drugs can be significant, depending on which drugs are used and how much medication is required.
Common IVF Drugs
Which fertility drugs are used varies from case to case. In most case, injectable gonadotropin hormones are used, but in some cases oral medication may be given instead. The most common IVF drugs include:
- Clomid – Clomid is an oral medication that helps to stimulate ovulation. The medication is often prescribed as a first course of treatment, but for women who dont respond well to injections or at a high risk of complications from injectable gonadotropins, Clomid may be used during IVF.
- Follicle stimulation hormone – FSH is given to stimulate the ovaries to produce a large number of egg follicles, so that multiple egg follicles can be retrieved for use in IVF.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin – hCG is normally produced during pregnancy, but is similar in structure and function to luteinizing hormone which is the body’s natural trigger for ovulation. In IVF cycles, this medication is the “trigger” medication, given close to the time of egg retrieval.
- Progesterone – Progesterone causes the uterine lining to mature, so that it is ready for an embryo to implant. Progesterone is also taken throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, and sometimes longer, to lower the risk of miscarriage.
Factors Affecting IVF Drug Cost
Injectable gonadotropins like FSH and hCG are much more expensive than oral medication, but they are also much more effective. The medications must be identical to the hormones that the body naturally produces. This can be accomplished by taking the hormones from the urine of pregnant women, or by genetically engineering microorganisms to produce them. Both methods are costly, and the cost of injectable IVF drugs is often one of the most significant contributors to the cost of IVF.
When gonadotropins are used, the woman’s ovaries and uterus are carefully monitored to ensure that enough eggs are developing. Depending on how quickly the eggs develop, it may be necessary to use FSH for a shorter or longer period of time.
Finally, the doctor may recommend higher or lower doses of gonadotropins depending on your particular situation. Younger women may require less stimulation to produce more egg follicles, while older women may require more.
If you are interested in treatment for your infertility, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to meet with you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call IVF1 at (630) 357-6540.