Gonadotrophin (GnRH) is used in infertility treatments. Read on to find out when is Gonadotrophin (GnRH) releasing hormone required.
Gonadotrophin or GnRH is used in fertility treatments for stimulating ovulation. This drug which is used for stimulating ovulation is different from other drugs that are taken orally. Let find out more about Gonadotrophin (GnRH) and its significance in treating infertility issues.
When is Gonadotrophin (GnRH) releasing hormone required?
The area of the brain above the pituitary gland is known as the hypothalamus. GnRH is released from the normal hypothalamus. This, in turn, stimulates the release of both F.S.H. and L.H. from the pituitary. Sometimes the hypothalamus fails to function normally. As a result there is an inadequate stimulus to the pituitary to secrete F.S.H. and L.H. Giving GnRH is therefore a logical treatment for these patients.
Are there any side effects of GnRH?
The incidence of multiple pregnancies is not significantly higher than for the general population and hyper stimulation has not been reported.
How is GnRH administered?
GnRH is administered via a small automatic pump. The patient has to wear this pump night and day usually in a holster under the arm. The pump is set to deliver a 15 mg dose of GnRH every 90 minutes. The hormone is given under the skin via a small needle, the site of which is changed by the patient every 48 hours. The drawbacks of this treatment are the discomfort of wearing the pump round the clock and the expense.
How is this treatment monitored for success?
The response to treatment is monitored using ultrasound, if available, or by keeping a check on the hormone levels of F.S.H., L.H., estrogen and progesterone. A pregnancy should occur within 6 cycles of treatment if the failure of the hypothalamus is the sole cause for infertility.
What are the types of Gonadotrophins?
Gonadotrophins are of two types. They are known as recombinant gonadotropins and urinary-extracted gonadotropins. Recombinant DNA technology is used to make recombinant gonadotropins in laboratory. Urine of postmenopausal women which is high in FSH is used to extract urinary-extracted gonadotropins which are then purified before use.
What are the probable risks that can be caused due to GnRH treatment?
One of the severe complications that can be caused due to Gonadotrophin therapy is ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome or OHSS. About 10 to 20% of women who undergo Gonadotrophin therapy are likely to cope with mild OHSS. The chances of severe OHSS are 1%. Severe OHSS can be very risky and life threatening. Therefore, treatments are needed to be administered properly for dealing with such issues. At the same time women undergoing this therapy should be aware of the symptoms of OHSS so that immediate action can be taken.
Conception of multiples is also one of the risk factors that are associated with this therapy. Mostly twins are conceived through this therapy and around 5% of the pregnancies conceived through this therapy are triplets or even more than triplets. Although, the risk of multiple pregnancies is higher, the chances can be reduced if the treatment is closely monitored by doctors and by considering a lower dose.
There are also chances of ectopic pregnancy or even a miscarriage to occur when Gonadotrophin therapy is used. Pregnancy complications are also likely to occur in case of the pregnancies that are conceived with the help of Gonadotrophin therapy as compared to pregnancies that occur naturally. Such type of pregnancy complications may include complications like abruption of placenta, preeclampsia etc. A little discomfort may also be caused due to the injection of these drugs. In case if any discomfort or any sign of infection is observed, it is necessary to consult a doctor.