created 11 months ago | Tagged:
Women preparing for fertility treatment typically get a series of daily, sometimes uncomfortable hormone shots to kick their ovaries into over-drive—but a new review of previous studies suggests one long-acting shot may work just as well. For in vitro fertilization, extra follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, is used to trigger the ovaries to grow and release multiple eggs, which are then fertilized outside the body and re-implanted in the uterus. In an analysis of four past studies including over 2,300 women with infertility, researchers found the women were just as likely to get pregnant -- and didn't have any more complications—when they got a single, long-acting dose of FSH rather than daily shots.
"Long-acting FSH (weekly injection) is a good and safe alternative to daily injections in the first week of ovarian stimulation for IVF," Dr. Jan Kremer from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands, who worked on the review, told Reuters Health in an email. However, he said there is still limited data on how the weekly hormone shots work in certain groups of women, including older women with less of an ovarian response and those with fertility problems because of polycystic ovary syndrome, whose ovaries might over-respond.
The long-acting shot is used in Europe but not currently available in the United States, because it hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.