Fertility medications have played a vital role in millions of successful pregnancies and are therefore an indispensable part of modern fertility treatment. (SCRC, 2016)
Patients seeking medical help with fertility stand a high chance of encountering one or more medications over the course of the treatment.(SCRC, 2016)
These medications are generally safe, but like any medical interventions, they carry some side effects.

For IVF medications to remain potent, there is need for proper storage. That will be the focus of this article.

A client’s experience with any of these side effects is highly dependent on the medication type, the dosage and how the body system reacts to the drug.
It is important for clients to be well informed about all the possibilities of these side effects so as to help the physician monitor them more closely.

Leuprolide (luprodex)

Leuprolide is used for downregulation in an IVF treatment. This involves ‘turning off’ the ovaries to better control ovulation and egg maturation during treatment.
Common side effects include:

  • Redness, burning sensation, stinging sensation ,pain, bruising at injection site
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Tiredness, headache and dizziness
  • Stomach upset, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and constipation
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Acne
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Reduced sexual interest
  • Vaginal bleeding/discomfort/dryness/itching/discharge
  • Swelling of the ankles/feet
  • Increased urination at night


Leuprolide should be stored by refrigeration below 25 degrees centigrade


It is used in an IVF treatment to achieve downregulation.
Side effects include:

== Common side effects:

Abdominal pain, Bowel changes, Swollen hands and feets, Hot flushes, Nose irritation, Heart palpitations, Skin rash, Loss of sex drive, Breast swelling, Weight gain, Blood pressure changes, Tiredness and Weakness.

== Occasional side effects:

Mood swings, Bruising at injection site, Beadache and dizzy spells, Bone thinning, Hair thinning or thickening, Numbness or tingling sensations, Difficulty sleeping, Liver changes, Splitting nails, Dry eyes, Feeling thirsty, Appetite changes, Eyesight changes, Memory problems and Difficulty concentrating.

== Rare side effects: 

Ringing in the ears, Allergic reactions, Increased risk of infection, Bruising or Bleeding gums and Changes to sugar level in the blood.


Buserelin should be stored by refrigeration below 25 degrees centigrade.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (HMG 150iu & 75iu)

This injection is usually given during the stimulation phase of an IVF treatment.
It is a purified preparation of the naturally occurring hormones – Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) that stimulates the ovaries to develop many follicles and mature eggs.

Major and minor side effects include:

  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Irritability
  • Enlargement of breasts
  • Headache
  • Sleeplessness
  • Pain at injection site
  • Unexpected vaginal bleeding
  • Unusual tiredness and weakness


Humog should be stored in the refrigerator with temperature at between 2 to 8 degrees centigrade.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

HCG is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman’s ovary, it stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation.

The side effects are usually mild. The Doctor should however be contacted as soon as any of the under listed are noticed:

  • Tenderness, swelling or bruising at the injection site
  • Hot flashes, blurred vision, nausea, bloating, and headache.
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Risk of ovarian hyperstimulation.


HCG should be stored by refrigeration at a temperature range of between 2-8 degrees centigrade


Progesterone is available in different forms: intramuscular injection (Gestone), pessaries (Cyclogest), oral tablets (Duphaston) and micronized soft gels (E-gest).
It is usually prescribed after embryo transfer in an IVF treatment to support the lining of the uterus.

Common side effects include:

Uterine cramping, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal discomfort and Bloating, Breast tenderness and Headache, Dry mouth, Sleepiness, Depression and Mood swings, Rash or Painful lumps at injection site, Skin reactions, Vaginal irritation, Vaginal dryness and yeast infection are common when given via the vagina.


progesterone injection, micronized soft gels and vaginal pessaries should be stored at a temperature below 25 degrees centigrade while the tablets should be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place.

Estrogen,Estradiol (Progynova)

These are blue coloured tablets prescribed to women receiving donor eggs.
Estrogen helps to grow and maintain the endometrial lining and sustain a pregnancy.

Common side effects include:

Headache, Breast pain or Tenderness, Nausea and Vomiting, Constipation, Gas, Heartburn, Weight gain or loss, Hair loss, Redness or irritation of the skin, Swelling, Burning sensation, Irritation or itching of the vagina, Vaginal discharge, Painful menstrual periods, Anxiety, Depression, Changes in mood, Changes in sexual desire and Muscle pain.


It should be stored in a temperature below 25 degrees centigrade.