Different types of fertility medication

There are many different types of fertility medication and treatments, and it’s nice to know a little bit about what they do and how they work. Some of the most common fertility medications share many of the same outcomes; they just use different methods to arrive at ovulation.

Clomiphene citrate

Many women (and some men) take clomiphene citrate to treat fertility issues, one of the most popular brands being Clomid. Clomid is a fertility drug taken orally to help regulate ovulation and increase egg production.

Clomid works by saturating estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus, making them less sensitive to estrogen. This causes the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which in turn causes the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH are natural hormones that stimulate ovulation to prepare your body for pregnancy.


This one might win the superlative for “Most likely to make you giggle inappropriately” if your healthcare provider says it with the right emphasis. Gonadotropins are hormones (including FSH and LH) that are injected to stimulate the ovaries and help with egg production.

Depending on what your healthcare provider recommends, you might be injected with FSH, LH, or a combination of the two to stimulate your ovaries.

Leuprolide acetate

This medication actually suppresses your body’s hormone production. It sounds counter-intuitive, but your healthcare provider can use leuprolide acetate (the brand name is Lupron) to control your cycle a little better.

Women taking Lupron injections for fertility are usually also taking several other fertility medications.


For women with low levels of progesterone, your healthcare provider might recommend taking it as a fertility treatment. Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone that your body after ovulation to thicken the uterine lining for any potential fertilized eggs.

While other treatments work on ovulation or egg production, progesterone works on making your uterus a great landing spot for those eggs. It can be taken vaginally or through injections.

The bottom line

This isn’t a comprehensive list of fertility medications, and you and your healthcare provider might find another kind of fertility treatment that works best for you.

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Clomiphene (Oral Route).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, November 1, 2015. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Chorionic Gonadotropin (Subcutaneous Route, Intramuscular Route, Injection Route).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, April 1, 2015. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Leuprolide (Intradermal Route, Intramuscular Route, Subcutaneous Route).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, November 1, 2015. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Progesterone (Oral Route).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, September 1, 2015. Web.
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