IVF Medication: Your Pharmacist’s Role In Assisted Reproductive Technology

Maximizing IVF Success With Medication

Thousands of couples decide to move forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to address fertility issues every year. IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that creates an embryo using sperm and egg samples. The embryo is then implanted into the uterus for pregnancy. Prescription medication is necessary at different stages of IVF to complete a cycle. Women undergoing fertility treatment must take the proper medication at the right time. Pharmacists who specialize in fertility treatment can provide crucial support.

apthorp rx IVF Medication Your Pharmacist's Role In Assisted Reproductive Technology

What prescriptions do you need?

Medication is necessary to trigger different stages in the IVF process. Some women will start with birth control to regulate the menstrual cycle. The next step involves using gonadotropins to produce multiple eggs. When the eggs are ready, a medication called a trigger shot helps to release the eggs for extraction. Additional drugs can help slow down ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or help prevent premature ovulation. The IVF patient must take the correct medicine at the right time to avoid a failed cycle.

The role of the pharmacist

Today, most fertility clinics have the support of a pharmacist that specializes in reproductive health. The pharmacist will be responsible for dispensing the medication needed. Pharmacists should be able to explain to the couple the purpose of each drug, directions for use, and possible side effects. If needed, the pharmacist can work with the patient to address any underlying issues, such as non-adherence.

Creating custom medication

Infertility is a nuanced diagnosis that affects women differently. As a result, some women need specific treatment to increase the success rate of ART. The pharmacist can customize the medication required for the cycle using compounding if a doctor suggests a particular dose. In addition, the pharmacist can adjust the quantity or change the form of the medicine. Compounding can also help if there is a drug shortage or availability issue.

Additional support and counseling

A pharmacist can be a trusted resource for IVF patients during each cycle. IVF treatment can be stressful, and the pharmacist can provide additional support for medication use. For instance, the pharmacist can advise patients on the best needles to inject medication or the safest location on the body. The pharmacist can also review all the patient’s medication to look for dangerous drug-drug interactions. Prenatal vitamins play an important role while trying to conceive. Pharmacists can also recommend the best vitamins to improve the chances of success.

Trust your pharmacist

Well-trained pharmacists are unlikely heroes in the IVF process. These experts deeply understand fertility medication and how to use each prescription effectively. Most are also readily available for questions, unlike the fertility doctor, who may be challenging to get in touch with. Some pharmacists can also tweak the prescription based on the doctor’s recommendations to improve the drug’s effectiveness. With the right IVF medication and adherence, the chances of success increase with each cycle.

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