What does Lupron do for IVF – Medications are an integral part of the IVF treatment. Depending on the medical condition and other factors, certain injections are administered to set the base for the healthy development of the eggs. Lupron is frequently administered before ovarian stimulation medications are given for a successful IVF treatment.
Another drug named hCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is also widely used for egg maturation. But Lupron tops the list as it is better tolerated by the body.
Lupron, lupride, or leuprolide acetate is a synthetic gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a). It is given to a woman at the start of the IVF treatment, especially when the ovaries need to be stimulated to produce eggs in a controlled manner. Lupron helps control the development of eggs in the ovaries.
Why is Lupron Injection Needed?
We must get down to the ovulation process to understand the need for Lupron injection.
- During menstruation, the hypothalamus, a part of the brain, releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone. GnRH.
- This hormone sets the pituitary (another part of the brain) in motion to produce Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and the Follicle follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the blood.
- These two pituitary hormones awaken the ovary every month to produce an egg for fertilization, secrete estrogen, and ovulate.
So, when Lupron is injected into the body regularly, it mimics the structure of GnRH and triggers the production of pituitary hormones FSH and LH.
Initially, the pituitary glands fail to recognize the difference between GnRH and lupron (GnRH-a). However, with the regular administration of lupron, the pituitary glands become alert to this foreign element. As a result, the pituitary glands cap the production of both FSH and LH. The secretion of these hormones keeps on reducing as long as lupron injections are administered. This condition is termed pituitary down-regulation. In simple terms, Lupron helps reduce the secretion of these hormones.
But why is it important to control the secretion of these hormones during IVF? Aren’t these hormones important for conception?
Lupron is administered to the woman to limit the secretion of certain hormones to prevent early or premature ovulation during IVF. It helps in the development of multiple mature eggs in the ovaries. As soon as this condition is achieved, the ovaries and the reproductive system are ready to respond positively to other medications administered for a successful IVF cycle. Ultimately, fertility experts gain more control over the ovulation timing, the egg retrieval process, and the implantation timing.
After embryo transfer, lupron ensures a healthy environment for its development, free from any hormonal fluctuations. Hence increasing the chances of success of the IVF cycle.
That’s just one part of the story of Lupron. It also has other significant roles to play in an IVF cycle like:
- Leuprolide acetate is also administered to stimulate the ovaries.
- Also, it can be used as a trigger to assist with the complete maturation of the eggs for IVF. It is referred to as Lupron Trigger.
- As the ovaries are also responsible for producing estrogen and progesterone, Lupron indirectly helps regulate their secretion.
- Lupron also applies to treating endometriosis, prostate cancer, and large uterine fibroids.
- It is vital in treating children’s CPP, central precocious (early) puberty.
The Lupron Injection Protocol during IVF
It is generally given daily for 2-3 weeks before ovarian stimulation begins. However, the duration depends on your medical reports and your body’s requirements. The Lupron medication kit generally contains 14 injections (for 2 weeks) and 2.8 ml of Lupron in Leuprolide acetate. Typically, fertility specialists administer Lupron in three phases, which are stated below:
This phase generally starts one week before the ovarian stimulation process. The Lupron administration process begins as soon as the natural ovulation is completed.
The administration of Leuprolide acetate will carry on. But in phase 2, the fertility experts cut down on the dosage compared to phase 1.
This phase sets in 36 hours before the egg retrieval process. The dosage is discontinued before the hCG trigger shot is administered for final egg maturation.
After some days of regular Lupron shots, FSH injections will also become a part of the IVF journey. You will have blood tests and ultrasound to monitor the entire process.
Lupron Injection Side Effects
More than anything else, keeping your stress levels in check is the first step towards a successful IVF cycle. However, experiencing side effects at the start of your IVF journey can quickly switch on the panic button. So, it’s always better to know a medication’s common side effects to stay calm during IVF. Lupron injection is accompanied by several short-term side effects mentioned below:
- Erratic mood swings
- General body aches
- Upset stomach
- Vaginal dryness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Weight gain
- Body and face acne
The secretion of pituitary hormones is reduced to the same level as is witnessed during menopause (the time when a woman no longer has a monthly menstrual cycle). It means your body is pushed into a state of temporary menopause. So, you may have lighter or longer periods during this phase.
Other Symptoms during the Initial days include:
- Breast tenderness
- Abnormal fluid retention
- Joint pain
- Itching or swelling at the injection site
- Decreased libido
These symptoms vanish once Lupron usage is discontinued.
If you suffer from excruciating pain or any other extreme side effect, consult your gynaecologist immediately.
How is Lupron Injection Administered?
Lupron injection is generally administered into the fatty tissue just below the skin through daily or monthly intramuscular depot injections using a small needle. It can be administered by the medical expert at your fertility clinic, or you can also do it yourself at home by following the below-mentioned steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and properly sanitize the surface where you will lie down.
- Take a clean syringe and fill the Lupron medication into it. Always ensure that there is no air in the vial containing the medication.
- Select a spot on the abdomen about two inches from your navel.
- Hold the syringe at an angle of 45 degrees from the injection site.
- Empty the contents of the syringe quickly.
Lupron injection can also be administered on the outer region of a woman’s thigh. As far as storage of Lupron injections is concerned, they generally don’t require refrigeration. However, it is for the best that you strictly follow your doctor’s guidelines.
Imprimis IVF advises you to visit your fertility expert to get your Lupron injections. Once you feel confident enough, go for self-administration. Do not miss out on any of the steps mentioned above every time you take your Lupron dose.
Frequently Asked Questions about What does Lupron do for IVF
Does Lupron Injection Increase IVF Success?
Well, not directly. IVF success rates depend on a plethora of factors. Some of them include the woman’s age, the quality of the egg and the sperm, medical history, genetic conditions, and the expertise of your fertility specialist. However, proper and timely administration of Lupron will lay a robust foundation for other medications that play a vital role in IVF success rates.
Is Lupron Injection always given during IVF?
No. Even though it is one of the best options available regarding ovulation regulation, Lupron is not always given during IVF. Doctors have various options in the form of agonists and antagonists to choose from and reduce the production of FSH and LH. hCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is seen as an alternative to Lupron. However, Lupron is seen as the better option because it is more tolerable than the former. This is all about What does Lupron do for IVF.
Final Word About Lupron Injection
IVF is a complex and delicate procedure in all dimensions. The technology and medications administered before the treatment starts must suit the woman’s body and meet some requirements for the treatment to proceed smoothly.
Lupron is one such medication that doesn’t directly affect the success rate of IVF but sets the base for the treatment to proceed efficiently and offer promising success rates.
If you have any queries regarding Lupron, other medications, or anything related to IVF treatment, please visit us at Imprimis IVF, Srinagar.