fertility drug

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fertility drug,

any of a variety of substances used to increase the possibility of conception and successful pregnancy. Different methods are used to correct or circumvent the many different functional disorders of both males and females that can interfere with conception and childbearing (see infertilityinfertility,
inability to conceive or carry a child to delivery. The term is usually limited to situations where the couple has had intercourse regularly for one year without using birth control.
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). The term fertility drug primarily refers to drugs that mimic or stimulate production of a hormone necessary for conception, but it may also be used to refer to the hormones themselves, when they are administered as part of a program of infertility treatment.

The most common cause of female infertility is failure to ovulate. In certain cases this can be corrected with the drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene). Introduced in 1967, clomiphene stimulates the release of the gonadotropic hormonesgonadotropic hormone
or gonadotropin,
any one of three glycoprotein (see protein) hormones released by either the anterior pituitary gland or the placenta (the organ in which maternal and fetal blood exchange nutrients and waste products) that have various effects upon
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: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH functions to stimulate the ovarian follicle (the egg and its surrounding fluid and hormones); LH triggers ovulation. In some studies, clomiphene has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Clomiphene is also used to stimulate spermatogenesis in men with low sperm counts.

Human menopausal gonadotropin, or menotropin (Pergonal), introduced in 1970, is an extract from the urine of menopausal women. It contains FSH and LH and encourages ovulation. It is often given together with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone secreted by the placenta during pregnancy and obtained from the urine of pregnant women. Its action is similar to that of luteinizing hormone. In males the same combination is given to increase testosterone production, which in turn increases sperm production.

Urofollitropin (Metrodin) is essentially follicle-stimulating hormone without luteinizing hormone. It is used especially in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, who tend to have too little FSH and too much LH. A frequent result of ovulation induced by these drugs is the production of more than one ovum (egg) in a month, and subsequent multiple birthsmultiple birth,
bringing forth of more than one offspring at birth. Although many smaller mammals bear several young at a time, multiple births are relatively uncommon in humans and other primates.
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.

Progesteroneprogesterone
, female sex hormone that induces secretory changes in the lining of the uterus essential for successful implantation of a fertilized egg. A steroid, progesterone is secreted chiefly by the corpus luteum, a group of cells formed in the ovary after the follicle
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 is a female sex hormone that induces secretory changes in the lining of the uterus essential for successful implantation of a fertilized egg. It is released by the ovary after the ovum is released. It is administered in cases where fertilization of the ovum does occur but where there is evidence that the uterine lining is unable to support the developing fetus, as in repeated miscarriages or bleeding during pregnancy.

See also DESDES
or diethylstilbestrol
, synthetic nonsteroid female sex hormone having the same physiological effects as estrogen. In the 1940s and 50s DES was mistakenly believed to reduce the risk of miscarriage and was routinely prescribed for pregnant women believed to be at
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 (diethylstilbestrol).

References in periodicals archive ?
Hilgers, now 74, says his method--which typically involves some combination of mucus charting, blood tests, trans-vaginal ultrasounds to monitor ovulation, fertility medications, and one or more exploratory surgeries-has helped thousands of infertile women get pregnant.
Like many familiar with the ins and outs of fertility treatment, I initially assumed that the octuplets resulted from Suleman's body "overreacting" to fertility medications.
In addition, Walgreens has acquired the full-service specialty pharmacy company Medmark Specialty Pharmacy Solutions; SeniorMed Pharmacy, a pharmacy provider to residents in assisted living, specialty care and independent communities; and Schraft's A Specialty Pharmacy, recognized as one of the country's top providers of advanced fertility medications and services.
Schraft's A Specialty Pharmacy, one of the nation's leading providers of advanced fertility medications and services.
For donors hopped up on fertility medications, stray sperm pose a heightened danger of unintended pregnancy in the midst of protracted attempts to create a different child: right eggs, wrong womb.
Serono is the only company to offer a comprehensive portfolio of state-of-the art fertility medications for every stage of the process for both men and women.
Medical record reviews and interviews with women who were assessed for height starting in 1959 showed that women who received estrogen as a growth-suppressant therapy were significantly more likely to have experienced infertility and were more than twice as likely to have ever taken fertility medications than were women who did not receive estrogen therapy (Lancet 2004;364:1513-8).
While many are turning to fertility medications to increase the chance of conception, pregnancy rates generally are poor among women over 40 and the risk of miscarriage is greater.
More and more often, lesbian couples are getting pregnant through such advanced methods as intrauterine insemination and with the help of fertility medications, according to Carol Frost Vercollone, coauthor of Helping the Stork, a 1997 book about donor insemination.
The Attain Rx Discount Card will help patients save 30-75% off retail prices on fertility medications not covered by insurance and will be accepted at over 40,000 participating locations including nearly every major pharmacy in the country as well as specialty and mail-order pharmacies.
This may be due to the underlying medical conditions related to their infertility, or the use of fertility medications or therapies that are not recorded.