Lupron has become an important medication for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. It one of the GnRH agonist injectables used to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a potential IVF complication. This syndrome can affect between 1 and 2 percent of women who undergo the treatment. Fertility experts apply a Lupron trigger to avoid the syndrome, which can cause fluid build up in the stomach cavity, vomiting, nausea, enlarged ovaries, and abdominal pain and bloating.
Hyperstimulation Syndrome Causes
Fertility specialists use a HCG trigger shot about 35 hours before egg retrieval. Studies have shown that this shot can cause hyperstimulation syndrome in some women. This is because it can remain in a patient’s body for up to 10 days. The trigger shot is vital because it allows doctors to recover mature eggs for fertilization. But the HCG also activates ovulation and egg maturation. This means that it will remain in the body, promoting hormone production in the patient’s ovaries.
How Does Lupron Help?
Lupron is a good alternative for women who have not had success with leuprolide treatment. This medication allows specialists to eliminate the HCG shot, which will in turn prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
The medication stimulates the pituitary gland to produce a large amount of LH hormone. This triggers ovulation. The increased LH production is temporary but it does induce sufficient eggs maturation, which is necessary for the IVF treatment. The LH clears from a patient’s body in a short period, preventing long term ovary stimulation.
Recent Lupron Advancements
Lupron has been improved over the years to increase pregnancy rates and reduce miscarriage rates when compared to the HCG injection. The protocol was altered to allow fertility doctors to recover viable eggs for IVF treatment.
Recent studies have revealed that Lupron treatment success rates can be hampered by insufficient hormonal profile during the menstrual cycle’s luteal phase. Specialists now offer aggressive progesterone and estrogen supplementation in combination with the Lupron medication to improve pregnancy rates.
The supplementation does not cause significant ovarian stimulation. Progesterone and estrogen supplementation is necessary because these hormones are often low during the luteal phase. Supplements are offered one day after the eggs are retrieved. Doctors check the hormone level frequently during this phase and in the initial pregnancy stages to ensure the patient has adequate hormonal support. The patient requires enough progesterone and estrogen to ensure their uterine lining remains receptive when HCG is not used for ovary stimulation.
Lupron Protocol Procedure
IVF patient undergo the conventional ovarian stimulation using a Lupron shot. The standard dose is usually between 3.75 mg and 7.5 mg. This is the only GnRH medication used in the United States. Once the trigger shot is offered, a patient undergoes a blood test to evaluate their progesterone and LH levels. The evaluation is necessary to determine a patient’s response to the treatment. Some women have an inadequate response and this can affect IVF treatment success rates. Specialists usually adjust the medication depending on the woman’s response.
Who Can Use Lupron?
Lupron may not be the best solution for every woman but research has demonstrated that it works well for patients with a high risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Some of the conditions that can increase the risk of this syndrome include:
- Prior over stimulation after IVF treatment
- Polycystic ovaries
- Elevated antral follicle numbers
- Elevated anti-mullerian hormone levels
Patients who intend to use egg donors for their IVF treatment also report better success rates with Lupron shots.
A small number of patients who use Lupron shots do not respond appropriately. Some will have inadequate LH production and this affects pregnancy rates. Inadequate LH surge affects egg retrieval and can cause to an increase in number of undeveloped eggs.
The upside is that fertility specialists can use a combination of HCG and Lupron to get a better response while preventing ovary overstimulation.
Lupron medication may be the best solution for women who have tried other injectables without success. It can be obtained from Fertility Drugs Online. This is an ideal treatment option for women who are in the initial stages of their IVF treatment and those with a limited budget. IVF treatment can be frustrating for some women but scientists have altered the available medications to increase pregnancy rates and reduce potential side effects among patients.