Growth Hormone and Female Infertility
Growth hormone plays a significant role in female and male fertility and has been successfully used in the management of both female and male infertility for quite some time. Aside from being produced in the pituitary gland, some of this essential chemical messenger is also manufactured by the ovaries in women. As it binds to growth hormone receptors on granulosa, luteal, and thecal cells, it promotes the process of gametogenesis and steroidogenesis.
There is a connection between growth hormone and female infertility that occurs when GH deficiency is present in the body. The sensitivity of the ovaries to stimulation by gonadotropin is increased by GH, along with IGF-1 and GHRH. Follicular development also relies on these three hormones. What makes this even more crucial to pay attention to is the fact that IGF-1 levels will be low when a GH deficiency is present.
Hormone therapy for infertility is helpful in this situation, especially when GH is also needed to enhance the aromatase activity that converts androgens such as testosterone into oestrogens. The most important takeaway here is that when oocytes – eggs – are harvested from follicles of a woman with normal growth hormone levels, they are more fertile than those when low GH production is present in the body. Growth hormone is responsible for accelerating the maturation process of the egg, and treatment with HGH therapy helps to increase ovarian stimulation.
Another positive aspect of utilizing growth hormone injections as an infertility hormone treatment is the benefit it might have on uterine size. Women who have had a poor response to other treatments have shown improved pregnancy rates when GH supplementation has been used. (please cite this article. This particular type of hormone replacement therapy for infertility is beneficial for only some women. Doctors will determine the best protocol for each woman based on her test results and needs.
Benefits of Hormone Therapy for Infertility
There are many health and emotional benefits that can be derived from receiving hormone therapy for infertility. Of course, pregnancy is the ideal result. That does not negate the fact that a person – female or male – who is diagnosed with some type of hormone deficiency will reap other positive benefits from having her or his hormone levels raised to their optimal state.
Depending upon the type of hormone or hormones prescribed, a person can expect to feel happier and more energized than they have in the past. Many of these deficiencies can affect mood and energy levels in an extremely negative way. Depression and stress can also affect fertility on an entirely different level, and someone who is trying to become pregnant can benefit immensely from both the physical and emotional stimuli from receiving bioidentical hormone therapy for infertility.
In many cases, a person may find that loss of excess weight, lower cholesterol, better thyroid functions, regulation of menstrual cycle, sharper focus, and improved metabolism and insulin sensitivity all resulting from some of the HRT options can also provide help with fertility issues.
Hormone Therapy Infertility Options for Women
The type of hormone replacement therapy for infertility that a woman will receive will be based on her blood test, and physical examination results. The goal of HRT is to increase the level of any hormone that is below its normal state in order to facilitate the corresponding functions in the body. Blood analysis is the tool used to determine these levels.
In addition to growth hormone therapy, there are other medications that a doctor might use to improve fertility rates, including:
- Clomiphene citrate – this medication is used to increase the amount of GnRH, FSH and LH in order to stimulate ovulation. These pills are typically taken on days 3 -5 after the start of menstruation. If pregnancy has not occurred within six months, the doctor will try an alternate treatment option.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin – HCG injections help to trigger the ovaries to release the mature egg. These injections start on the second or third day of the menstrual cycle and continue to be used for seven to twelve days.
- Follicle stimulating hormone – FSH is an injection below the skin to stimulate follicle growth in the ovaries.
- Human menopausal gonadotropin – hMG combines both LH and FSH to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs during the cycle.
- Bromocriptine or cabergoline – these pills lower the level of prolactin secreted by the pituitary gland which can stop ovulation.
There are two additional types of hormone therapy for female infertility that are used to prevent premature ovulation, and they are:
- GnRH agonists (analogs) – available as an injectable or nasal spray, these medications enable the body to increase the production of higher quality eggs, as well as prevent the mid-cycle surge of hormones that can cancel the cycle.
- GnRH antagonists – these medications cause the hormone GnRH to be released to prevent premature ovulation.
In some cases, the doctor may utilize a combination approach to treatment. Each woman’s situation is unique, and working with a trained specialist will help improve the odds for a positive outcome.
Hormone Therapy Infertility Options for Men
It is not only the female that can have hormonal imbalances that can interfere with fertility rates. Men may also be facing issues that can affect sperm production, motility, and quality. There are numerous options for hormone therapy for male infertility, and, again, doctors will determine the best course of action for each man.
In addition to the infertility hormones listed below, lifestyle changes such as exercising and diet, along with avoiding tobacco use, alcohol, and drugs may be suggested. Vitamins C, B12, and zinc may also be useful, as well as reading this report on “Herbs and Vitamins to Increase Testosterone.”
Hormone therapy for infertility in males typically takes about 4 months and may include any of the following, based on diagnostic test results:
- Testosterone replacement treatment when Low T is diagnosed.
- Growth hormone works both directly and indirectly through its IGF-1 connection to stimulate sperm production.
- Clomiphene citrate when FSH and LH levels are low, and the pituitary gland, and hypothalamus are functioning properly.
- HCG when the pituitary gland is not working properly in order to increase LH and stimulate the testes to increase testosterone and sperm production.
- Cortisone to lower abnormally high androgen levels so that the pituitary gland can function optimally.
Male infertility can be due to problems with the testes (30 to 40 percent), blockage at some point along the pathway (10 to 20 percent), hypothalamic or pituitary issues (1 to 2 percent), or undetermined causes (40 to 50 percent).
It is essential to remember that infertility can place a lot of stress on both the individual and the couple. Many people find that turning to yoga, meditation, visualization, and other relaxation techniques can be beneficial at this time.
The medical staff at National HRT is available to answer questions and provide insight when applicable. We offer free consultations about bioidentical hormone therapy for infertility and are able to provide blood analysis at local laboratories throughout the US.