Drugs used in IVF

The drugs used in an IVF cycle are dependent on the protocol used. Some of the commonest medications used in a variety of protocols are given below.



Buserlin injections (Luprodex/Decapeptyl):

Buserlin (GnRh analogue) is available in an injection form in India. This is commonly used in long and flare (ultra short) & frozen embryo transfer protocols. It can cause menopausal side effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings etc. This is used to suppress hormonal activity of your ovaries and to prevent ovulation of the recruited follicles.

Gonadotrophin injections (FSH / LH ):

FSH and LH are (Gonadotrophins) hormones produced by the pituitary gland in the Brain. These are essential for follicle (Egg) recruitment, growth and maturation.  Therefore the purpose of using Gonadotrophins in  an IVF cycle is very much self explanatory. These are used either individually or in combination in all IVF cycles to enhance multi follicular development. Gonadotrophins are available in the market as Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) , Leutenising hormone ( LH) , FSH-LH combination. These hormones can either Recombinant or Human. There is no evidence on superiority over one another. Links are given below for medications used commonly and the idea behind this would be to familiarise yourself prior to starting medications.

​Cetrorelix (Injection):

Cetrorelix is used in an Antagonist IVF cycle. This helps with preventing premature ovulation of the recruited follicles (eggs).

Progesterones (can be injections/tablets/vaginal gels):

A variety of progesterones are used from the day of egg pick up to provide support to the embryo, which is to be transferred.  They are available in intra vaginal gel preparations, tablets, vaginal pessaries and injection forms. It is vital that these should not be missed and should used as advised by the clinician.

Estradiol (Tablets / Skin gels) :

Estradiol preparations are commonly used in the form of tablets in a frozen embryo transfer cycle.  Their role would be to thicken the lining of the womb as well as supplement estrogen and maintain the pregnancy. Estradiol preparations may be used in other protocols as well occasionally.


Metformin (Tablets):

Metformin is commonly used in patients with Diabetes (type II) as a insulin sensitizer. This drug is used as an adjunct in patients who are at a high risk for Ovarian hyperstimulation.
Apart from IVF, Metformin is commonly used in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome with or without clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation.

Other Supplements & Adjuncts :

The routine use of below given adjuncts and supplement in an IVF cycle is debatable and is dependent on your clinician.

Steroids (Tablets) :

Steroids may be used in low doses to improve implantation.

Coenzyme Q 10 (Tablets):

The hypothesis behind the use of Co enzyme Q 10 is to improve quality of gametes.

Dihydroepiandrosterone (Tablets) & Testosterone (Gel):

The hypothesis behind the use of DHEA / Testoterone gel is to improve Oocyte quality.

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