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What Is Gonal-F?

What is Gonal-F and what do I need to know before taking it?
ByMark P. Leondires, MD, medical director and lead infertility doctor with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut
Fertility Specialist
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Gonal-F is a brand name for a medication called gonadotropin. You probably know what “gonad” means from sex ed class — those are your reproductive organs. The suffix “tropin” means hormone. So basically, gonadotropins are hormones that help stimulate the product of your ovaries, and those are eggs.

Gonal-F is a synthetic gonadotropin. (Believe it or not, there are some nonsynthetic forms, created from purified urine from postmenopausal women!) It’s used by fertility practices all over the world to stimulate production of follicles in the ovary, each of which contains one egg.

Your physician will prescribe Gonal-F if you both decide it’s right for you, and he’ll watch you closely. When taking a gonadotropin, there’s a risk of triplets or quads and, rarely, hyperstimulation syndrome. And be prepared, because you’ll give yourself the medication through a shot, usually once a day for a period of seven to 12 days.

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