Fertility Drugs: What Do They Do and How Do They Work?


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Amongst the many options available to you if you are suffering from fertility issues, fertility drugs are often used, particularly to treat women who aren’t releasing an egg at the appropriate point in their monthly cycle (ovulating). Some drugs can also be used to treat issues with male fertility, although these aren’t as broadly used or as effective as their female counterparts.

What are fertility drugs?

Fertility drugs are specific medications designed to target part of the workings of your body’s reproductive system where they have become impaired or damaged, and hence affect your fertility. These drugs can be sufficient for pregnancy on their own, or prescribed in conjunction to another form of treatment like IVF (in vitro fertilisation).

Female fertility drugs

Most fertility drugs are in fact targeted at the female menstrual cycle, and more specifically at regulating ovulation, the most important part of this cycle when it comes to getting pregnant. Ovulation just refers to the part of the cycle where your ovaries produce and release the female sex cell, called the egg, into the womb where it implants and is ready to be fertilised by sperm. As the root of many female fertility issues stem from disrupted ovulation, and so drugs like Comid and Metformin are prescribed to normalise the process and make conception more likely.

Some female fertility drugs are actually targeted at the menstrual cycle as a whole as part of another treatment. For example the drug Cetrotide is often used to stop ovulation completely so that eggs are collected for IVF treatments, and Goserelin completely stops the menstrual cycle by cutting off the hormones that control it.

Male fertility drugs

Male fertility drugs are less significant in the treatment of male infertility as their female equivalents tend to be more effective at restoring fertility. That being said, some drugs, like those used to treat infections of the genitals can restore fertility effectively and efficiently, while also clearing up an unwanted and unpleasant illness.

A condition called retrograde ejaculation can cause male infertility and is effectively treated by certain drugs. In retrograde ejaculation sperm are ejaculated backwards into the bladder rather than into the penis. The drugs used work by closing off access to the bladder, causing sperm to be ejaculated as they should be, outwards into the penis.

Where needed fertility drugs will be recommended by a fertility specialist whose experience and understanding of your condition will help him or her to make the best decision for you. There are many causes for infertility, and so it is important that you see a specialist who can work out what exactly is going wrong, if anything at all, and how to help you from there.


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