Lupron is a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a). (Say that three times, fast!) It’s used as a way to control ovulation, and is often one of the first drugs administered to women who are going through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Lupron is typically injected under the skin using a small needle.
Here’s how it works: During a normal menstrual cycle, the brain makes GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), which then tells the pituitary gland to make follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These two hormones work together to tell the ovary when it’s time to release an egg cell. When taken in the second half of your menstrual cycle, Lupron acts as a stoplight of sorts, helping prevent early ovulation after the ovaries are stimulated by FSH and LH.
Lupron can also be used in lower doses to help stimulate the ovaries, and also to prevent premature ovulation. Plus, Lupron can be used to complete the maturation of the eggs during an IVF cycle, which is often referred to as a Lupron trigger.
Lupron does have some side effects, including symptoms that can make you feel like you’re going through menopause (hot flashes, mood swings), but since the medication is only used for a limited time, they typically don’t last very long.