Fertility drugs, such as Orgalutran have helped many couples fulfill their dreams of becoming parents; theirs has been a success story although the journey has had its share of ups and down. Though using the drug one may be faced with negative effects. Still, it’s paramount to be aware of what may go wrong and the remedies to take to minimize complications. If the doctor has prescribed this medication, have a discussion with the physician on the risk of the medication before taking it; ask the doctor for a list of Orgalutran side effects to expect and the management strategy if any.
What is Orgalutran?
As earlier mentioned it is a fertility medicine, it’s available in the form of a solution for injection and comes in a prefilled syringe. Each prefilled syringe contains 0.25 mg of ganirelix (as the active substance); ganirelix is a man-made form of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). Orgalutran 0.25 mg injection is given under a patient’s skin once daily or as directed by the physician. You partner may administer the Orgulutran injection if he has gone through a training on how to give the injection; he should follow the directions given by the fertility expert. The drug is used in combination with other fertility medication, for example, follicle stimulating hormone. Normally, in the ovaries of a healthy woman, follicle stimulating hormone raises the number of follicles growing and triggers their development. The follicles contain developing eggs, also FSH result in an increase of estrogen in your blood, consequently, ovulation occurs.
The upper leg is the preferred Orgalutran injection site.
What Does the Drug Do?
The drug is used to deal with premature ovulation in patients on ovarian stimulation in their fertility therapy. The medication blocks the effects of GnRH. GnRH regulates the production of another hormone termed as luteinizing hormone, as explained above, LH prompts ovulation in a woman’s monthly cycle, without LH, no ovulation. The goal of ovarian stimulation is to cause the ovaries to produce more eggs during fertility treatment. Once the eggs have grown and matured to satisfaction, human chorionic gonadotropin is given to trigger the ovaries release the eggs (ovulation). In a nutshell, Orgalutran puts a stop to luteinizing hormone production, preventing the occurrence of premature ovulation. Take note that premature ovulation is an ovulation disorder.
The length of this medication treatment is five days, although the physician may prescribe the medication to be taken between one to nineteen days. The time to start the treatment is determined by the response of the ovaries to stimulation.
Using the Drug in IVF
It’s a crucial hormone that prevents premature LH surges in a woman on controlled ovarian hyperstimulation for IVF. In IVF, ovarian stimulation is a balancing act of all the hormones used such as Orgalutran to cause maturity on the follicles and at the same time prevents the follicles from ovulating prematurely. The fertility expert may use Orgalutran almost at the same time with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The patient going through IVF should get the right dosage of FSH, if the dosage is too high it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be more effective; it may result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which is an example of Orgalutran side effects in IVF and is characterized by:
- Abdominal pain
- Rapid weight gain
- Decreased urination
- Difficulty breathing
While on Orgalutran, an ultrasonographer will perform ultrasound examinations to check the progress of the follicles. Depending on the response to the fertility therapy, blood tests and ultrasounds may be done on a daily basis. At times you may hear IVF patients comment that they had many immature eggs despite being on Orgalutran medication; some patients relate this to time allocated during ovarian stimulation. They believe if time was extended, the situation (immature eggs) would have been prevented. However, this is not the case since some women are at risk of immature eggs during IVF because of:
- Advanced maternal age
- Diminished ovarian reserve
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
In such a situation, it may be worthwhile to use donated eggs, but the fertility expert will advise accordingly on the best course of action to take. If you are using own eggs and sperm, before beginning IVF cycle, both you and your partner will require going through screening, like:
- Ovarian reserve testing – it is done to determine the quality and quantity of eggs. The fertility specialist will test the FSH concentration, estrogen in the first days of the monthly cycle and perform an ultrasound to check the condition of your ovaries. The outcome of the results will predict how one will responds to fertility treatments.
- Semen analysis – to check sperm health, the eggs may be of good quality, but with poor quality sperm, attaining a pregnancy may be difficult.
- Infectious disease screening – infectious disease like HIV may lower fertility rate
- Mock embryo transfer – as the name suggests, it is a practice to determine the depth of the uterine cavity and the procedure which may be successful in placing the embryos in the womb.
- Uterine cavity exam – may entail hysteroscopy
Side effects of Orgalutran affect patients differently, below are some of the unwanted effects associated with the use of this drug:
- Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site
- Feeling unwell
- Allergic reactions
Consult the doctor for more information on the side effects. There are remedies you or your health care provider can do to lessen or completely avoid all the undesirable effects such as:
- Taking the medication at night; enquire from the health practitioner the best time for Orgalutran injection.
- The physician should start you on the lowest effective dosage if possible, if need be, he increases the dosage gradually as the body become used to the injection, instead of putting you on a high dosage at once.
- If the side effects become unbearable, don’t suffer in silence, let the medical care provider know, he may use another alternative of the injection.
- To minimize the risk of multiples, the fertility specialist monitors your menstrual cycle closely. You may be advised to avoid sexual intercourse or the cycle is canceled. The advantage of IVF treatment is that the risk of having twins or more is lowered by transferring a single embryo; although it may not be applicable for every couple, consult the doctor to be aware of the options available.
- Follow the physician instructions on the procedure of giving the injection and the exact dose.
Orgalutran injection is beneficial, specifically while going through IVF, to curb premature ovulation. Bear in mind if premature ovulation occurs, your ovaries will release immature eggs unsuitable for use in IVF, the success rate of in vitro fertilization depends on the quantity and quality of eggs retrieved. If you have a prescription to purchase the medication, compare Orgalutran price from online pharmacies and get the best cost from a top rated pharmacy and of course, it must be licensed.