The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your healthcare provider if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended by your healthcare provider, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your healthcare provider.

Medications used for the treatment of male infertility include the following:

  • Testosterone for primary hypogonadism, delayed puberty, and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
  • Clomiphene to stimulate the release of pituitary gonadotropins
  • Bromocriptine, which inhibits the release of prolactin
  • Gonadotropins—human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), memotorpins (FSH, LH)

Medications used for the treatment of female infertility are essentially the same as for male infertility except in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome with metformin (Glucophage).

Prescription Medications

Prescription Medications

Testosterone

Common namdes include:

  • Androl-LA
  • Androderm
  • Delatestryl
  • Depo-testosterone

Testosterone is used in hypogonadism, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and delayed puberty in which the production of testosterone by the gonads are absent or inadequate since testosterone is needed for sperm production. Testosterone comes in oral, injectable, or a patch.

Possible side effects include:

  • Masculinization
  • Cramps in leg
  • Fluid retention
  • Jaundice

Clomiphene Citrate

Common names include:

  • Clomid
  • Serophene

Clomiphene citrate causes an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This drug could be used in women with infertility due to disorder of ovulation including those with polycystic ovary disease. This increases the signal to your testes to increase testosterone production and ultimately, sperm production. The drug is a tablet that is taken orally.

Possible side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Migraines
  • Ovarian hyperstimualtion syndrome with multiple pregnancies.

hCG, hMG and FSH

Common names include:

  • Human chorionic gonadatropin, or hCG (Profasi, Pregnyl, Ovidrel)
  • Human menopausal gonadatropin, or hMG (Pergonal, Humegon)
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH (Follistim, Gonal F)

These drugs are used in men to treat hypogonadism (low testosterone and sperm production). They stimulate the Leydig cells of the testes to produce more androgen (male) hormones, particularly testosterone, which stimulates sperm production.

hCG is injected into the muscle two to three times a week. You may need to receive this medicine for several weeks, months, or longer. If you are being treated for a low sperm count and have been on this medicine for six months, your doctor may give you another hormone medicine (menotropin or urofollitropin injection). You may need to receive both of these medicines together for up to twelve additional months.

Menotropins (hMG) are a mixture of FSH and LH that are naturally produced by the pituitary gland. These are also injected into a muscle three times a week for four or more months. Usually your doctor will give you another medicine called chorionic gonadotropin before and during treatment with menotropins.

Possible side effects include:

  • Injection site pain
  • Acne
  • Enlargement of penis and testes
  • Breast enlargement in male
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Restless
  • Growth of pubic hair

Bromocriptine Mesylate

  • Common name: Parlodel

This drug is prescribed for those patients who have elevated levels of the pituitary hormone prolactin, which interferes with other male/female hormones. The drug is provided as a tablet, which is taken with food 1 to 3 times daily.

Possible side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mouth dryness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Tingling in hands and feet

Special Considerations

Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:

  • Take them as directed—not more, not less, not at a different time.
  • Do not stop taking them without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Don’t share them with anyone else.
  • Know what effects and side effects to expect, and report them to your healthcare provider.
  • If you are taking more than one drug, even if it is over-the-counter, be sure to check with a physician or pharmacist about drug interactions.
  • Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.