Fertility medication

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Fertility medication is a drug that enhances fertility. For women, fertility medication is used to stimulate follicle development of the ovary. For males, on the other hand, there are very few options of fertility medication.

Agents that enhance ovarian activity can be classified as either Gonadotropin releasing hormone, Estrogen antagonists or Gonadotropins.


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone

Either Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) itself or any of its agonists (i.e. Lupron) may be used. GnRH releases gonadotropins from the hypothalamus in the body.

Estrogen antagonists

Fertility medication inhibiting the effects of estrogen includes Clomiphene citrate and Aromatase inhibitors.

Clomiphene citrate

Clomiphene citrate is a SERM. It is an ovarian stimulator by inhibiting the negative feedback of estrogen.

Aromatase inhibitors

Although primarily a breast cancer treatment, aromatase inhibitors can also work as fertility medication, probably by a mechanism similar to clomiphene citrate.


Gonadotropins are the hormones in the body that normally stimulate the gonads (testes and ovaries). For medication, they can be extracted from urine or by genetic modification.


Menotropins are urinary gonadotropins, i.e. they are extracted from the urine.

Recombinant gonadotropins

Recombinant gonadotropins are gonadotropins created by inserting the DNA coding it into bacteriae. The bacterial DNA is then called Recombinant DNA. Examples of recombinant FSH are Follistim and Gonal F, while Luveris is a recombinant LH.

Human chorionic gonadotropin

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is normally produced during pregnancy. However, it can also replace LH as an ovulation inducer.


hMG is a medication containing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).


There is no effective medication to treat oligospermia, so other assisted reproductive technologies need to be used.

There is ongoing research, with e.g. an Egyptian study indicating efficacy of a combination of clomiphene citrate and vitamin E in improving sperm count and sperm motility in male infertility. [1]

Adverse effects

Estrogen antagonists and gonadotropins may stimulate multiple follicles and other ovarian hormones leading to multiple birth and possible ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

See also



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fr:Liste de médicaments liés à la fertilité
  1. Ghanem H et al. Combination clomiphene citrate and antioxidant therapy for idiopathic male infertility: A randomized controlled trial. Fertil Steril 2009 Mar 5; [e-pub ahead of print]. Published in Journal Watch General Medicine March 31, 2009