Understanding the Various Medications/ Injections Used in Fertility Treatments

Pre-Pregnancy Supplements
All women looking to get pregnant are advised to take a preconception supplement containing at least 500mcg Folate and 150mcg Iodine, which can be found in appropriate dosage levels within supplements such as Elevit and Blackmores Pregnancy or Breastfeeding Capsules, available for purchase from supporting chemists.

Medications used in Fertility Treatments
Medications and/or injections are usually required whilst undergoing fertility treatment. Your doctor will prescribe medications appropriate for each treatment cycle.

Medication Storage
Some medications require refrigeration. Please check medication instructions to ensure correct storage.

Medication Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Please refer to the medication information provided for potential side effects. Please report any adverse reactions to your Doctor, Pharmacist or Nurse Coordinator as soon as possible.

Oral Medications for Ovulation Induction
Medications may be prescribed as part of your fertility treatment. Specific information will be provided as required. Common medications that are prescribed are outlined as follows:

1. Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene)
This oral medication acts on the pituitary gland and encourages your ovaries to produce follicles.

Side effects: Some of the more common side effects can include: hot flushes, dizziness, mood swings, and abdominal bloating. There is a slightly higher chance of having twins when taking Clomid, as the extra stimulation of the ovaries may cause two eggs to develop.

2. Letrozole (Femara)
This oral medication reduces the production of oestrogen, causing the body to produce more of the hormones that are needed to stimulate the ovaries. It is useful in women who do not ovulate or to increase the number of developing follicles.

Side effects: Can include hot flushes, breast tenderness, headache, and tiredness.

3. Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH injections)
These medications act directly on the ovary inducing follicle growth. They are administered by daily injections.

Side Effects: Some of the more common side effects can include: Redness of the skin, pain, itching or swelling over the injection site, tiredness and abdominal bloating. Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a rare condition that can occur when using FSH medications. Most cases of OHSS are mild.

Medications that Trigger Ovulation


These injections contain the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This medication is used to complete the final maturation of the eggs and to “trigger” ovulation (release of the eggs). It may also be used in IUI or TIC cycles to assist with ovulation.

Side effects: Can include abdominal pain, headache, nausea and vomiting, as well as skin redness, pain, itching and/or swelling over the injection site.

Medications that support implantation

Progesterone Preparations (Progesterone pessaries)

These drugs are used to prepare the lining of the uterus to receive a fertilised egg. The progesterone medications are self-administered into the vagina.

Side Effects: Can include vaginal irritation, thrush, constipation, nausea, bloating, breast swelling/pain, mood swings, and headache.

Related Articles

All articles
Preparing for the Festive Season
Preparing for the Festive Season
Effect of Body Weight on Fertility
Effect of Body Weight on Fertility
Lifestyle Factors and Fertility
Lifestyle Factors and Fertility