Glossary of Medications

The following table lists some of the more commonly used medications during assisted reproductive treatment (ART). It is a guide only to the use of each medication and the minor related adverse effects. For further information, discuss with your Monash IVF Specialist and read the package inserts provided with each medication.

DescriptionAdverse EffectsSource
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid)A mild oral fertility medication that promotes development of ovarian follicles.Hot flushes, mood swings, depression, abdominal discomfort and visual disturbances (such as blurred vision).Clomid® (Clomifene Citrate) Australian approved product information. Macquarie Park: Sanofi-Aventis. Approved August 2022.
Folic AcidA vitamin taken prior to and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy that may help to prevent spina bifida.None reported.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)An injectable medication used to stimulate the development of ovarian follicles.Headache, dizziness, and abdominal distension. Local irritation at injection site, stinging sensation at time of injection.Bemfola® (Follitropin Alfa (rch)) Australian approved product information. North Sydney: Gedeon Richter. Approved October 2022.
GnRH AgonistA medication used to suppress hormone production in preparation for an IVF/ICSI or GIFT/MIFT cycle.Reversible menopausal-type symptoms including tiredness, headaches and hot flushes.Australian Medicines Handbook. Adelaide: AMH; 2023.
GnRH AntagonistA medication used to suppress spontaneous ovulation during and IVF/ICSI or GIFT/MIFT cycle.Local irritation at injection site.Orgalutran® (Ganirelix Acetate) Australian approved product information. Macquarie Park: Organon. Approved November 2022.
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) ("trigger medication")An injection used to "trigger" the final maturation of eggs prior to ovulation or egg collectionStinging sensation at time of injection and local irritation at injection site. Possibility of increased abdominal distension.

Ovidrel® (choriogonadotropin alfa (rch)) Australian approved product information. Macquarie Park: Merck Healthcare. Approved March 2023.

Oestrogen SupplementationOestrogen tablets or patches to thicken the lining of the uterus, usually in preparation for embryo transfer.Headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes.Australian Medicines Handbook. Adelaide: AMH; 2023.
Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP)A medication usually used to prevent a pregnancy, but is used in ART to help time the start of a treatment cycle. May also reduce the development of small ovarian cysts, which can delay the start of ovarian stimulation.Mild stomach upset, breakthrough bleeding.Australian Medicines Handbook. Adelaide: AMH; 2023.
Progesterone SupplementationProgesterone vaginal gel or pessary to help maintain the lining of the uterus in readiness for a potential pregnancy.Possible local irritation or abdominal discomfort.Oripro® (Progesterone) Australian approved product information. Balcatta: Orion Laboratories. Approved November 2019.
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