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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Medications Involved in Egg Freezing

By Michael Vermesh on January 19, 2018

Preserving genetic material using cold temperaturesWhen most people think of fertility treatment services, they tend to only consider artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Yet egg freezing is another important aspect of fertility treatment. Our Los Angeles, CA fertility specialists can preserve eggs for future use, allowing couples or individuals to have children at a later date.

As part of the egg freezing process, it’s common for certain fertility drugs to be used. Let’s explain why that's the case and what some of the most common medications may be.

Why Fertility Drugs Are Necessary

To perform an egg freezing procedure, it’s important that fertility specialists are able to control the development and release of viable eggs. In order to do this, fertility drugs are often involved. These drugs will help regulate a woman's cycle so that each part of the egg freezing process can be carried out with precise timing.

Good timing means high-quality eggs can be preserved, increasing the chances of successful IVF and pregnancy in the future.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Follicle-stimulating hormone helps stimulate the ovaries and helps in egg production. This is crucial for producing multiple viable eggs that can be preserved.

Common side effects of follicle-stimulating hormone include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Breast swelling
  • Rash or swelling at injection site
  • Mood swings

Human Menopausal Gonadotropins (hMG)

Like follicle-stimulating hormone, human menopausal gonadotropins help stimulate the ovaries and aid in the development of viable eggs be preserved.

The side effects of human menopausal gonadotropins are the same as the side effects of follicle-stimulating hormone.

GnRH Agonists

These kinds of medications help a woman’s body produce multiple viable eggs to be harvested during a fertility treatment. GnRH agonists also help prevent canceled cycles.

Common side effects of GnRH agonists include:

  • Headache
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness

GnRH Antagonists

These medications are used to prevent the premature release of mature and viable eggs. In essence, these fertility drugs make sure that the release of an egg is controlled by the fertility specialist rather than left to chance and normal bodily cycles.
Common side effects of GnRH antagonists are the same as the side effects for GnRH agonists.

Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate)

This medication helps trigger the final maturation of viable eggs in a woman’s body. It ensure that all eggs that will wind up being retrieved have the best possible chance for successful fertilization and healthy development.

Common side effects of leuprolide acetate include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Increased sweating

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

Human chorionic gonadotropin drugs are also used to help with the maturation of viable eggs. These drugs are typically injected around 8 to 14 days after the initial injection of follicle-stimulating hormone or human menopausal gonadotropins.

Common side effects of human chorionic gonadotropin include:

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast swelling
  • Water weight gain

Learn More About the Egg Freezing Process

To learn more about egg freezing and your many options for starting a family of your own, be sure to contact a skilled fertility specialist today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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