The sonographer has just handed you the results of the ultrasound your fertility doctor had requested you to undertake. You are anxious because you have been on fertility treatment for almost one year. It has been a traumatic journey, but thanks to your spouse and support group, you have shared your frustrations and happy moments with them; you have been through thick and thin together. The ultrasound was to check if the egg follicles are mature so that you can get the Ovidrel injection. Before you take the results of the scan, you can refresh on the basic information of this medication.
What is the Drug Used For?
Ovidrel drug falls under the family of hormones termed as gonadotropins and they are used in fertility reproduction. Choriogonadotropin alfa is an active substance of Ovidrel. But what does Ovidrel do? It ripens your egg follicles. A follicle is a structure located in the ovary and holds your eggs. It can also be used while undergoing assisted reproductive technology. Women with anovulation and oligo-ovulation may take the injection to correct their ovulation disorder. The medicine is not limited to women, men dealing with infertility take the drug to increase their sperm count. The doctor can prescribe this medication for other purposes; feel free to ask the doctor the reason he has prescribed the drug. The injection is helpful in terms of ovulation and fertility and has benefited many.
You have the option of doing the injection at home or your doctor can do it. If you prefer to administer the drug in your house, you must understand how to give Ovidrel and follow all the injection instructions; don’t add nor skip the doctor’s direction. After receiving the shot, what happens to the injection site? You will experience pain, swelling, redness and irritation on the spot you have injected. Most of the times, the pain is moderate and will go away after a couple of days. If the pain turns out to be severe and persists, seek medical attention. The swelling on the injection spot must be on the inside. Reaction at the injection site is an example of Ovidrel injection side effects. The following are other common side effects:
- Feeling restless
- Mild swelling or water weight gain
- Breast tenderness
The physician will advise you on the severe side effects to expect and the action to take. An example of a serious complication caused by this medicine is OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation). If you have OHSS, your ovaries are enlarged and swollen. Talk in detail concerning OHSS and symptoms to look out for. Take note that the condition may be mild or severe. Stomach pain is the most common sign of OHSS. In the course of stimulation, the fertility expert will monitor the progress by performing blood tests to check estrogen levels and ultrasound to show if you are at a risk of developing OHSS. Depending on the outcome, the fertility specialist can cancel or delay Ovidrel. Ovulation after shot occurs within 36 hours after the shot; this means it can happen between 24 to 36 hours and should have sexual intercourse within this period.
Before Using this Medication
Before you decide to use the medicine, the doctor will help you weigh the risks and the good it will do to you. Together with the doctor, you will make a decision to take the drug if the advantages outweigh the risks. On the other hand, if the risks are numerous, you are better off without taking the medication. Which are the circumstances that determine the drug isn’t good for you? You must stay away from the medicine if:
- You are allergic to choriogonadotropin alfa; if you have other allergies, inform the health care provider.
- Your ovaries can’t be triggered for egg production (that is if you have a primary ovarian failure or premature menopause).
- You have thyroid which is out of control or adrenal gland disease.
- You have growth on the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
- You have an ovarian cyst or ovarian enlargement.
- You have cancer of the ovaries, breast or uterus. If you have a history of cancer, let the doctor know.
- You have tumors such as fibroids which may make it impossible to become pregnant.
- You are already in menopause.
This drug should not be used in the elderly and the children unless the doctor gives a go ahead. Remember to check the expiry date of the drug; the expiry date is printed on the pack and if the pack shows signs of being interfered with don’t use it. You may return the medicine to the pharmacist if it is expired or damaged for proper disposal. Before the doctor prescribes Ovidrel shot, you and your spouse undergo various tests to detect medical conditions which can interfere with the ability to conceive. If need be, the existing medical conditions will be treated prior fertility treatment and Ovidrel begins.
If using Ovidrel in assisted reproductive technology, chances of having a baby with birth defects are high because of your age, genetic factors, and multiple pregnancies. It’s crucial to have a discussion on this and air your concerns, if any before commencing the treatment. Inform your doctor if you have a history of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks are associated with blood clots. Also, put into consideration Ovidrel cost; fertility treatment calls for financial commitment, and you should have a rough idea on the cost of your fertility treatment. Imagine beginning fertility treatment and due to financial challenges, stop the treatment. Ask the doctor to give a rough estimate of the cost and prepare in advance to avoid disappointments. You can consider an insurance plan to lessen the burden.
What To Remember
- Using the medication poses a risk of Ovidrel side effects. As you use it, bear in mind the negative effects and be on the lookout for them.
- Avoid taking other drugs without informing your health care provider; taking other medications may lower the effectiveness of the drug or worsen the unwanted effects.
- Stay away from alcohol use.
- If you give the shot at home, discard all the injection materials well, preferably in a disposable container.
- Keep the drug away from the children.
It is important to take note that Ovidrel injection may interfere with pregnancy test results. Home pregnancy tests detect the HCG hormone, if you do a home pregnancy test before HCG clears from your system, you will get false pregnancy test results. Wait for at least two weeks before thinking of taking the pregnancy test; Ovidrel shot takes two weeks to clear from your system. It’s difficult to wait since you are looking forward to confirming if you are expectant, but it is worth it so as to get the accurate result.