Bravelle And Ovidrel For IUI
Very often, fertility specialists recommend combining fertility medications with IUI in order to maximize the chances for an infertile couple to become pregnant. Many of these fertility drugs mimic the work of the body's natural hormones.
The naturally occurring hormones FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), are critical to the conceiving process. FSH is secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulates the growth and development of eggs in women, and the growth and development of sperm in men. LH is secreted by the pituitary gland, and a surge of LH immediately prior to ovulation triggers the release of an egg from the ovary in women, and in men LH helps with the production of testosterone, which influences sperm cell growth and development.
Bravelle and Ovidrel Overview
Bravelle and Ovidrel mimic the hormones FSH and LH respectively. Bravelle is known generically as Urofollitropin or FSH, and is used to stimulate the ovaries. Ovidrel is known generically as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG, and is used in women to trigger ovulation, and in men to help with the production of testosterone. Fertility drugs such as Ovidrel that mimic LH in the body are often used following FSH treatment.
Both of these drugs are injected and cannot be taken orally. They are typically self-injected and administered at home. They are used in conjunction with IUI or with in-vitro fertilization (IFV).
Bravelle and Ovidrel Production
Both Bravelle and Ovidrel are extracted (and then purified) from the urine of post-menopausal or pregnant women, who have high levels of the hormones FSH and hCG respectively. Bravelle and Ovidrel differ from other fertility medications such as Gonal-f and Follistim, which are created in a lab via a process called recombinant DNA technology. Recombinant DNA technology produces drugs that are "bio-identical" to the body's natural hormones, meaning that they share the same molecular structures and shapes.
The problems inherent in the urinary extraction method used to make fertility drugs such as Bravelle and Ovidrel are that there are inconsistencies from batch to batch, and that urinary proteins cannot be 100% removed, giving rise to allergic reactions in some individuals. However, while urinary-extracted fertility drugs are less potent than their laboratory produced counterparts, they are also less expensive and still commonly used today for treating infertility.
Bravelle and Ovidrel Side Effects
Both of these drugs may interact with herbal remedies or nutritional supplements such as blue cohosh, black cohosh, or chasteberry. As with any injections, there is also a risk of infection or allergic reaction.
In addition, one should watch out for the following possible side effects, which should be reported immediately to one's doctor or fertility specialist: breast or penis enlargement in men, pelvic or penis pain, indigestion, nausea or vomiting, fluid retention, bloating, rapid weight gain, reduced amounts of urine passed.
Multiple Pregnancy Risks
It is common knowledge that there is an increased risk of multiple pregnancies and births when using fertility drugs. The amount of risk depends on which medications are being taken, at what dosage, and on how each body reacts to the drugs.
While orally taken ovulation drugs such as Clomid result in a less than 10% chance of twins and a less than 1% chance of triplets, injected fertility drugs such as Bravelle, Ovidrel, Follistim, and Gonal-f carry up to a 30% risk of multiples. Of these, it is estimated that two-thirds result in twins, while the remaining third results in triplets or higher.