If you aren’t ovulating (producing and releasing an egg each month) at all, or only sometimes, you may be offered fertility drugs.
Hormones are a type of fertility drug that can come from human sources or be artificially produced. They trigger egg production in a similar way as your body’s own hormones.
The use of these fertility drugs is known as ovulation induction. You may come across them under their trademarked names, such as Gonal-f, Puregon, Menogon, Menopur and Merional.
These drugs (called gonadotrophins, FSH – follicle stimulating hormone, and LH – luteinising hormone) help your ovaries to produce more than one egg at a time (unlike your natural cycle), making multiple birth more likely.
According to the manufacturer of Pergonal, a gonadotrophin, its use carries a 40% risk of a twin pregnancy.
Other side-effects include:
If you are receiving hormone treatment, you should discuss the following with your clinician:
Many other countries have already successfully introduced a single embryo transfer policy – the multiple birth rate has plummeted while birth rates have remained largely unaffected.