Supplemental medications can be nearly anything that addresses an issue you need help with during your fertility treatment. Some medications might be used to help you correct certain hormonal imbalances, while others are prescribed to manage blood-clotting issues found during testing.
Remember that these medications can affect urine and blood pregnancy tests. When undergoing assisted reproductive technology like superovulation and IVF, don't be tempted to take a pregnancy test without your doctor's okay. You may get inaccurate results.
During the course of your treatment, you and your reproductive specialty team will decide on a medication protocol. This protocol will go along with your known fertility issues. Except in a few rare instances, you will start at the lowest dose, strength, and type of medication possible in order to minimize the risk of complications with any given medication.
Your team may decide from the beginning of treatment that supplemental medication is required for a successful cycle, or it may not be until midcycle that your team makes a change or addition to your medications to help ensure a successful and safe cycle. Which medications, if any, are used for supplementation depend on many factors.
During the course of your fertility treatment, your blood work will be monitored as well as your uterine lining. If it is determined that you need to boost your estrogen levels, you may be asked to take supplemental estrogen. This is usually, and thankfully, done in patch form. This means you simply wear a small piece of plastic tape that has the estrogen imbedded in it. The medication is absorbed through your skin. No muss, no fuss!
Some people have an allergy to the tape or adhesive on the patch. Make sure to let your clinic know if you have any irritation, itchiness, redness, or swelling. They will need to switch you to a different form of estrogen.
In addition to the patch, you can also take estrogen supplementation in pill form. These are taken either orally or inserted into the vagina. It is the same pill, but just taken via a different route.
Progesterone supplementation can be used in high-level fertility procedures like IVF and superovulation. It can also be used to help supplement some other women and is commonly used in cases of frequent or recurrent pregnancy loss and for unexplained infertility. This is most often done as an injectable form or as a vaginal suppository. The injectables are usually suspended in oil and are given intramuscularly.