Gonal-f – whose generic name is follitropin alpha – increases the chances of women getting pregnant by stimulating the growth of follicles on the ovaries. In the US, the Gonal F pen is the only popular way of administering the stimulating hormone.
After self-injecting with a Gonal F pen for the prescribed dosage, fertility specialists usually find a patient’s eggs are fertilized more easily. However, men whose testes produce sperm in insufficient amount or not all also use Gonal-f. So, it is important that patients advised to use Gonal-f know how to use the Gonal F pen and know what to expect.
Using the Gonal F pen
Doctors prescribe Gonal-f in prefilled injection solutions. The injections come in varieties such as 75 iu, 300 iu and 1050 iu.
The provided pen is similar to the one that diabetics use to give themselves insulin shots. And although the pen itself is not overly painful to use, fertility doctors may advise a patient to change where they inject regularly.
So whether a patient is instructed to use the Gonal F pen to get the drug into the skin, abdomen or close to the belly button, they can be also encouraged to switch in instances when they experience discomfort.
For the first usage, a fertility specialist or a nurse takes the patient through the process of setting up the Gonal F pen and the dosage correctly.
However afterwards, the patient should ensure that they self-inject by following the necessary precautions and hygiene. For example, the patient should always:
- Use the injection when it is at room temperature
- Wash his or her hands with soap under running water
- Sterilize the tip of the pen with alcohol swabs
- Clean the area identified for injection with alcohol swabs before giving it a bit of time to dry
With continued use however, a patient may find that the provided pen cannot complete the required dosage. In such cases, patients should ask for a new pen to fill up the remaining dose. Since the injection comes filled with multiples of 37.5 ui, the new pen should contain the amount that will get the patient up to the indicated prescription dosage.
What to expect
Some patients may be allergic to the ingredients of the fertility-stimulating drug. In such rare cases, the affected person should avoid using Gonal F pens altogether.
Women with a history of vaginal or uterine bleeding should be aware that Gonal-f could aggravate those conditions. Even women who experience abnormal swelling of the ovaries should seek advice before using Gonal-f.
And like with any prescription drug, an overdose of the fertility hormone is dangerous. So doctors prescribe the lowest amount of Gonal-f that will produce the desired results.
However, even after observing the necessary precautions, patients may still experience discomfort or pain. When the patient therefore complains of severe stomach pains, bloating or excessive weight gain, it could be an indicator of an underlying condition like Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome.
Nonetheless, for a patient whose infertility is caused by functional weaknesses and not something as significant as primary ovarian failure, Gonal-f remains a viable option.