Trying to conceive is easy for some women, but to others, this isn’t the case. In a woman without fertility challenges, the pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. The follicle stimulating hormone is sent into your body, whereas, luteinizing hormone is stored in the pituitary gland and released just before ovulation. FSH sends a signal to the ovaries for the follicles to grow and develop, like its name suggests, it stimulates the follicles; a follicle is a tiny structure which contains the egg.
For female dealing with infertility, they would like to know the best fertility medication that can help with conception. Drugs may help women conceive faster, but no prescribed medicine is a guarantee that once you take it, you will become pregnant. People are different in terms of genetic makeup, height, weight and existing health conditions, hence a particular fertility drug that works for your friend may not necessarily work for you; it’s advisable to visit a fertility specialist to determine the drug which will restore your fertility easily. There are different fertility medications available in the market ranging from herbs, natural blends, and prescription drugs which increase the chances of conception. Some fertility drugs such as Clomid, work by stimulating the brain to release hormones responsible for egg development, maturation and ovulation; they are usually the first choice of drug prescribed to treat infertility. However, if the patient is unresponsive to them, the next option is gonadotropin, for example, FSH injections.
What are FSH Injections?
It is a class of infertility drugs administered through shots to directly stimulate the development and maturation of ovarian follicles. In the ovarian follicles are developing eggs. FSH injections success rate is higher when compared to Clomid or Letrozole. The injections also increase estrogen production and the largest follicle grows and develops, FSH shot has the same effects as the natural hormone. If a woman is experiencing difficulties becoming pregnant due to ovulation problems, a fertility expert may prescribe this medication to trigger the development of follicles and eggs. Additionally, if a female is infertile due to inadequate FSH and LH, she benefits from the injections which may be combined with man-made LH.
During fertility treatment using FSH hormone injections, ultrasound and blood test will be carried out to measure the follicle development in the ovary. If the doctor is satisfied (the egg(s) are ready to be released), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is given to trigger ovulation. The fertility expert will advise the time to have sexual intercourse to achieve a pregnancy. Follicle stimulating hormone is not limited to women only, men also benefit from this fertility drug; it acts directly in the testicles, thus, development and production of sperm are supported and fertility is attained in a man.
FSH injections for men can be used together with HCG which results in testosterone production in the testicles helping the FSH to work effectively. Synthetic FSH is available in different brand names which can be used by both men and women such as:
- Follistim AQ
Uses in PCOS
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may experience challenges conceiving. Why is this so? To start with, her periods are irregular or absent so, irregular ovulation or none at all; without ovulation, it’s impossible to become pregnant. To increase chances of conception, the fertility expert may recommend a woman with PCOS to undergo FSH injection and IUI. Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment which involves sperm processing and using a catheter to place the processed specimen inside the uterine cavity. When IUI is used on a female with PCOS, it is more effective if FSH shots are given for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. When the ovaries are stimulated by the injections and IUI is carried out, chances of conception are high because of the extra eggs prompted by the fertility drug.
If the doctor puts you on FSH and IUI cycle, you will be closely monitored to prevent OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation) as well as high order multiple births; FSH shots stimulates the ovaries to develop multiple eggs that may be released simultaneously during ovulation. In many occurrences, quadruplets or more is the outcome of intrauterine insemination cycle when carried out by a non-fertility expert. Remember multiple pregnancy is linked to complications during pregnancy, such as:
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Preterm birth
- Increased chance of cesarean delivery
While on the medication, a patient will be faced with side effects of FSH injections. Some of the unwanted effects may need medical intervention, whereas other may not. Since people will react differently with the medication, it’s advisable to be aware of the possible negative effects to avoid panic. Below are minor side effects one may encounter:
- Mild stomach pain and nausea
- Mild tingly feeling or numbness
- Mild pelvic pain, discomfort or tenderness
- Skin rash
- Pain, bruising, irritation or redness on the area injected
- Weight gain
If serious or severe FSH injections side effects listed below occur, stop using the medication and contact the health care professional immediately:
- One-sided severe pelvic pain
- Pain, warmth, swelling or redness in the arms and legs
- Sudden numbness or weakness, particularly on one side of your body
- Severe ovarian hyperstimulation which can be life threatening
The mentioned side effects of FSH injections don’t include all the possible unwanted effects; contact your physician for more information.
Uses in Pregnancy
The fertility injection is used to help in conception, but it should never be used during pregnancy. Before the doctor prescribes the medication, a pregnancy test is performed to rule out pregnancy. FSH is in pregnancy category X according to the FDA classification. Follicle stimulating hormone may harm the fetus or cause birth defects. If you become pregnant during the treatment, inform the fertility specialist immediately.
It’s not clear if the FSH is passed into breast milk, or if it can cause harm to the nursing baby. Don’t breastfeed while using follicle stimulating hormone unless the medical care provider advises contrary
Fertility treatment calls for financial commitment and one has to be prepared to cater for FSH injections cost. Bear in mind there will be additional costs like IUI cost, blood and ultrasound costs. If you have a prescription, you can buy FSH injections online and sooner or later, you will hold the bundle of joy in your arms.