Infertility and Follitropin Alpha (FSH)
Follitropin Alpha is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone secreted by gonadodrophes of the anterior pituitary gland. FSH plays an important part in puberty, growth and reproductive processes. Follitropin Alpha has been proven safe and effective in the treatment of male and female infertility.
Effect of Follitropin Alpha (FSH) on Infertility
Follitropin Alpha can used as a fertility medication for women who have not been able to become pregnant because of ovulation problems. When a woman's hormonal stimulation is not enough to make the follicle mature, she may benefit from FSH treatment. Follitropin Alpha is also used for stimulating the development of multiple eggs for assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). In men, FSH can increase the production of sperm.
Research Evidence on Follitropin Alpha (FSH)
The safety and efficacy of Follitropin Alpha has been examined in clinical studies. One of these studies concentrated on the effects of Follitropin Alpha in oligo-anovulatory infertile women undergoing ovulation induction. Efficacy of the treatment was examined using the mean ovulation rate in the first cycle of treatment. Based on the findings of the study, cumulative ovulation rate of patients who were given Follitropin Alpha was at 72-92%, while pregnancy rate was at 28-45%.
A study published in Fertility and Sterility journal suggested that recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone is safe and effective in men with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. The investigators reported that 15 of 19 patients who received Follitropin Alpha achieved spermatogenesis. Twelve of the patients achieved a sperm concentration of 1.5 × 106/mL.
How to Use Follitropin Alpha (FSH)
Follitropin Alpha is given at a dose that can be adjusted depending on individual circumstances. Your doctor may initially prescribe the lowest dose. The daily dose usually ranges from 75IU to 450 IU.
To induce ovulation, the usual starting dose 75 IU once daily. It can increased to 37.5 IU after 14 days, and then every 7 days after that. Each treatment course should not exceed 35 days under normal circumstances. Intercourse should be attempted at least 3 times per week. If there is evidence of ovulation but pregnancy does not occur, your doctor may recommend at least 2 more courses before the dose is increased to 150 IU per day for 7 to 12 days.
For Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures, the usual starting dose of 150IU or 225 IU once daily. After 5 days, your doctor may increase the dose by 37.5 IU to 150IU. Additional dose increases can done every 3 to 5 days. Follitropin Alpha is injected either under the skin or into a muscle, usually into the thigh or abdomen.
Side Effects and Warnings
The most common side effects associated with Follitropin Alpha use, include:
- breast pain
- ovarian cysts
- upset stomach
- sinus infections in women
- skin pimples
- breast pain and growth
- tiredness in men.
Some also experience discomfort on the injection site.
Severe side effects include:
- allergic reactions
- vision changes
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- slurred speech
- decreased urination
- diarrhea; fever
- one-sided weakness
- severe or persistent stomach pain or bloating
- severe nausea
- vomiting, severe pelvic or back pain
- unexplained weight gain
- unusual vaginal itching
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- calf pain or tenderness.
You should contact your doctor or seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of these serious side effects.
- Bouloux P., Warne, D. et al. Efficacy and safety of recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone in men with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 77, Issue 2, February 2002, Pages 270-273
- Spada,S., Walsh, G., Directory of approved biopharmaceutical products. CRC Press. 2005