HMG contains follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone.It is the administration of this drug which enables the ovaries to produce a large number of eggs in a process called hyperstimulation. In a woman's natural cycle, one follicle would become dominant and absorb a disproportionate amount of hormones, while the rest withered away. In the artificially controlled cycle enough hormones are provided to allow all of the follicles to continue to grow.
HMG is usually administered as intra-muscular injections -usually into the buttock. While taking it, you should only drink two or three units of alcohol a week - or preferably cut it out altogether. You can continue to have sex, but should abstain for three to four days before egg collection. You might anyway find that it becomes very uncomfortable as the follicles grow and cause pressure in your abdomen. Dosages of the drugs will vary quite widely, largely according to your age and natural hormone levels, which are usually related. If, through the monitoring, it is found that the drugs are not having the right effects and the follicles are not growing adequately, the dosage might be increased in mid-cycle. However, some doctors say that at a certain level the drugs are having the maximum effect and should not be increased any further.
Side-effects continue to be headaches, nausea, and hot flushes - remember you may still be taking your nasal spray or subcutaneous injections all the time you are having the HMG injections. These can be quite thick and oily, and some women find them painful, especially after a few days, so try to have them on alternate sides each day. After a few days you may also start to have some swelling around your lower abdomen, a bloated feeling and some discomfort from your ovaries, a bit like a period pain. These feelings are the result of the drugs stimulating the growth of follicles. Each follicle contains fluid, and grows steadily, in some cases up to a size of 22mm. So the more follicles and eggs you produce, the more discomfort you are likely to feel.