Often women who aren’t able conceive or are labeled as poor responders opt for donor eggs as their last option to get pregnant. As advancements in science are being made some infertility specialists are trying new treatments that can help such women get pregnant using their own eggs.
Human growth hormone is suggested by some of these specialists who believe that it can help women be more fertile. Is it true? We try to find out in this post.
First you need to understand who is termed as a poor responder in medical terms. Women with following characteristic are often poor responders:
- Over the age of 38
- Require high dosage of gonadotropin therapy
- Have poor ovarian reserve testing also known as increased FSH, low AMH
It is no hard fast rule that women with these traits are poor responders but it they are mostly the ones. Even younger women can face infertility issues like premature ovarian failure.
Many types of therapies and stimulation protocols are proposed to benefit poor responders but most are not able to make their ovaries sensitive enough for conceiving.
Growth Hormone May Help
With growth hormone, infertility specialists hope to help patients with diminished ovarian reserve. Many fertility clinics across U.S are already making use of HGH therapy incorporated with other fertility treatments like IVF. One such case is of Jen Jones Donatelli who shared her treatment story on RedBookMag. She was skeptical at first to involve HGH in her IVF protocol. As growth hormone supplements are known to be used by overzealous athletes, most women find its use for infertility treatment as extreme. But there have been cases of successful pregnancies with use of HGH and this is what made Donatelli receptive to the idea of growth hormone therapy for fertility.
According to Dr. Norbert Gleicher, Center for Human Reproduction, “IGF-I is essential during the early follicle growth stages.” He quotes that HGH packs a fertile punch to help women with low ovarian reserve as it promotes the production of IGF-1. This hormone is a cytokine that is essential for follicle development. Most studies on effect of HGH for fertility issues have been inconclusive but with Gleicher’s study is a lot different. He says, “All of the [past] studies used HGH only during the IVF cycle, which doesn’t make much sense physiologically. Our trial is different—we’re treating patients for about six weeks with HGH before starting ovarian stimulation. The rationale is that the earlier stages seem to be when follicles are most responsive to HGH; by the last two weeks [when IVF would take place], we feel the fate of the follicle and egg has already been pretty well-established.”
Here is a graph showing variation in pregnancy rates by age.
As you can see variation is a lot in women after 40 years of age. What makes Gleicher’s study such a game changer is the subjects under trail. Women up to age of 45 are taking part in his study and this will ensure whether ovarian reserve can be restored with HGH or not.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health titled “Growth hormone in the management of female infertility” cites that-“Growth hormone might have an independent or an estrogen-mediated effect on uterine size which may contribute to its therapeutic effect. GH supplementation has been shown to improve pregnancy rates in poor responders. In women with no history of poor response to IVF stimulation protocols, however, the use of growth hormone did not show benefits.”
The study is a significant improvement in the clinical findings on importance and effectiveness of growth hormone therapy got infertility treatment. Furthermore the study concluded that, “Growth hormone cotherapy has a definite role to play is ovarian stimulation and is effective in appropriately selected cases. However, it cannot be recommended indiscriminately in every patient undergoing ovarian stimulation or assisted reproductive technology.”
For fertility treatment women are advised human growth hormone therapy as a stimulating phase to make ovary sensitive for follicle development. Growth hormone is a naturally produced hormone that is synthesized, stored and secreted by the pituitary gland. As mentioned before in poor responders age is a main factor. With aging the production of growth hormone declines, in women there is a sharp drop in growth hormone level that affects all aspects of their health including their fertility.
There are two forms of hormone therapy-HGH Injections and HGH Oral Supplements.
Often used in infertility treatments, HGH injections are incorporated in IVF protocol. Use of injections is strictly based on prescription and only doctor can advise its use. Women with clinical GH deficiency are often prescribed injections but they involve some high risk factors. The side effects include facial hair growth, deepening of voice, overdose risks, carpal tunnel syndrome risk and more.
HGH Oral Supplements
A much safer alternative for women is to use natural HGH releasers. While that will not be included in the infertility treatment but that will help boost the natural growth hormone production in their body improving the fertility. Oral supplements are formulated from strong amino acids that stimulate the pituitary gland to increase production of growth hormones. There are no side effects from their use. Also these supplements are homeopathic drops and tablets available with local pharmacies. FDA has approved their use without prescription so you don’t have to worry about their illegal use.
Fertility treatments like IVF can greatly benefit from incorporation of HGH. As clinical findings suggest growth hormone helps with ocyte maturation that improves egg quality. It is also established in studies that growth hormone increases production of Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 that is essential for maturation and development of follicle. HGH is also found to reverse the aging signs and the age related changes made to egg. It does so by improving body’s capacity to repair DNA.
Growth hormone therapy can drastically improve fertility in poor responders and it is found that women who undergo HGH supplementation have increase pregnancy and live birth rates even in advanced maternal age.
Therefore you can improve your fertility and egg quality with HGH supplementation and therapy. Consult your doctor more on use of HGH in infertility treatment.