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Hormone therapy

Hormone treatment

In cases of infertility, hormone therapy can increase the chances of achieving pregnancy.

What is the purpose of hormone therapy?   



Hormone treatment for women aims to increase the likelihood of pregnancy through insemination. This is because hormone treatment can increase the number of eggs that mature. The chances of a good result per treatment cycle can vary greatly depending on the woman's age and the cause of infertility. The chances of pregnancy with hormone treatment in IUI are on average between 10 and 25%.

When is hormone therapy appropriate?  


Hormone therapy is particularly suitable for women with ovulation issues or irregular cycles, as both can make it difficult to hit the right time for insemination through intercourse. Hormone treatment ensures the maturation of 1-2 eggs and makes it easier to get the timing optimal. In women over 35, hormone treatment increases the chance of pregnancy as more eggs mature in one cycle. The chance of pregnancy decreases with age, as the quality of the eggs is affected over time.   


"PCOS" - polycystic ovary syndrome  


In some women, ultrasound scans can show multiple follicles on the ovary, so the monthly maturation of a single follicle may be delayed or prevented. This disorder is called "PCOS" - polycystic ovary syndrome. In these cases, maturation and subsequent ovulation can also be achieved by hormone therapy.  



Other hormonal causes  


There are other hormonal causes of ovulation disorders. For example, an increased concentration of the hormone prolactin can also inhibit fertility. Prolactin promotes the growth of mammary glands during pregnancy and suppresses ovulation. An increased concentration of prolactin before pregnancy can be treated with a prolactin inhibiting medication.  


What is the course of hormone therapy for insemination (IUI)?

The hormonal stimulation of ovulation takes place in several steps:

1. Start of treatment

Treatment is usually started on the second to third day after your period starts. You will be seen for a scan at the clinic, where we will check that everything is in order before you start the medication. This means that there must be no cysts on your ovaries and your uterine lining must be thin. Both are important to have the best chance of pregnancy.   

The medicine can either be given orally in tablet form or as an injection. We provide thorough training so that you can give the injection yourself in the evening.  

2. Ovulation and fertilisation 

After about a week, you will have a scan to check whether the follicles have grown. The eggs mature with the growing follicle. When the follicle is about 18-20mm, the egg is ready to ovulate.  Ovulation is ensured by taking the hormone human choriogonadotropin (hCG). At the last check-up, the time for insemination is agreed.   

Side effects and risks of hormone therapy  



Hormone therapy may be associated with side effects and risks, which the doctor treating you will inform you of before treatment. The doctor will check your progress regularly during the course of treatment to avoid overdosage and to minimise any risks.  




Possible side effects of treatment include:  

  

  • Hot flushes 

  • Headache 

  • Depression 

  • Blood clots 

  

Overstimulation:

if too many follicles are produced as a result of treatment, the doctor will advise against sexual intercourse. This is because too many mature eggs increase the risk of multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.), which is associated with a health risk. The dose of the hormone preparation can then be reduced in the next treatment cycle.  



Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS):  

The hormonal stimulation can trigger an overproduction of eggs in the ovaries, causing a series of processes in the body that can lead to fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity or elsewhere, resulting in abdominal pain, among other things. If the prescribed control measures during treatment are observed, the risk of OHSS is no more than 2%.  

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