To review causes and risk factors associated with infertility, relevant diagnostic procedures, and available pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment options; to identify common dosing, administration, adverse effects, and key counseling points associated with infertility treatments; and to describe the role of the pharmacist in caring for patients with infertility.
Available clinical literature identified through searches of Medline and review of major textbooks in reproductive medicine.
Studies were selected primarily to reflect current infertility treatment practices in the United States. The specific criteria evaluated included date of the study; date of publication; study population, including diagnosis, baseline characteristics, and nationality; and number of participants.
Treatment of infertility often involves the use of both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapy. This article provides an overview of these pharmacologic treatments and provides two tables that outline the key administration and safety concerns with these products. Nonpharmacologic procedures associated with diagnosis and treatment also are outlined.
Pharmacists are an excellent resource for patients suffering from infertility. First, pharmacists answer questions about administration and safety of these medications. Second, pharmacists discuss available treatment options and assist with referrals to specialists as needed. Third, pharmacists can provide emotional support for patients who may otherwise suffer in silence.