A look at egg freezing fertility drugs
Women often come to our Austin egg freezing experts with questions about egg freezing fertility drugs. Our physicians use three groups of medications in egg freezing cycles, including the stimulation medications (gonadotropins), the medications that prevent premature ovulation and the drugs that cause egg maturation. Each medication plays an important role in the egg freezing process.
Egg freezing fertility drugs that promote ovarian stimulation
For ovarian stimulation, our Austin egg freezing specialists typically use Gonal F®, Follistim® and Menopur®. These egg freezing fertility drugs may be used individually or together, depending on a patient’s needs.
The patient will self-inject these fertility drugs on a daily basis for 10-14 days. During this time, the medications cause the egg-containing follicles in the ovaries to grow, typically to 18-20mm in diameter during stimulation. As these follicles grow, the egg inside matures.
Egg freezing fertility drugs that prevent premature ovulation
Two classes of egg freezing fertility drugs prevent premature ovulation. These drugs include GnRH-agonists and GnRH antagonists, and they prevent the brain from releasing the hormones that are responsible for ovulation, or the release of eggs.
The GnRH-agonist that our Austin egg freezing experts often use is leuprolide acetate, or Lupron®. The patient receives the injection on a daily basis, starting a few days before the beginning of her stimulation cycle and continuing until the lead follicle size measures 18-20 mm.
Cetrotide® and Ganirelix® are the primary egg freezing fertility drugs in the GnRH antagonist category. Patients usually receive these when the lead follicles are 12-15mm in diameter to prevent premature ovulation.
Egg freezing fertility drugs for egg maturation
A sperm cannot fertilize an egg unless it is mature. In a natural cycle, eggs mature when the brain releases a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH).
This hormone is very difficult to administer in a dose that would cause egg maturation. As a result, our Austin egg freezing experts use hCG or leuprolide acetate to allow for final maturation of the eggs. The structure of hCG is so similar to LH that it can easily bind to the LH receptors and cause the eggs to mature. Leuprolide acetate, despite usually being used to prevent ovulation, can also stimulate egg maturity.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Austin egg freezing experts and learn more about the egg freezing process.