Gonadotrophinreteasing hormone analogues

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is produced naturally in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This hormone controls the production of the two hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle: follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone (I explain how these hormones operate in Chapter 5). When you have IVF, the last thing you want to do is ovulate all the eggs that you've worked so hard to produce before your doctor has a chance to retrieve them. The magic bullet to avoid this is a GnRH analogue, which your doctor includes in your stimulation cocktail. The GnRH analogue blocks your own GnRH and stops you from ovulating. Two types of GnRH analogues can be used:

1 GnRH agonists: Most IVF doctors prescribe an agonist (activator), which you take daily throughout the whole stimulation phase either as a nasal spray or an injection.

^ GnRH antagonists: Antagonists (blockers) have a slightly different action to agonists, are a bit more expensive and are taken as a daily injection only during the last few days of the stimulation phase.

You may experience the following side effects while taking a GnRH analogue:

^ Headaches

^ Hot flushes (agonists only) ^ Irritation at the injection site ^ Mood swings (agonists only) ^ Nausea (antagonists only)

GnRH analogues aren't subsidised by Medicare so you pay the full cost of the drug. The clinic may supply you with the drug and then bill you, or you may be given a prescription to fill at a pharmacy.

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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