Infertility & Growth Hormone

They’re very different conditions, but infertility and growth hormone deficiency are both complex issues that require a high level of treatment expertise. Fortunately, MedCart Specialty Pharmacy has the necessary skill and experience.

Our caring pharmacists and support staff work with both physicians and patients, to bring together all the elements of a successful medication regimen. We’re dedicated to making the management of therapy as simple and cost-effective as possible.

Infertility & Growth Hormone Deficiency Basics

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that affects about 7.3 million U.S. women and their partners. One-third of infertility cases are caused by male factors, one-third by female factors and the balance are a combination or simply unexplained. More than one factor contributes to infertility in about 25 percent of infertile couples.

A very different issue, growth hormone deficiency, involves a lack of growth hormone produced in the pituitary gland and causes abnormally short height in childhood. Typically, there’s no definitive cause for growth hormone deficiency, although it may exist from birth or be the result of events after birth such as a brain injury or a medical condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The process of diagnosing infertility begins after a couple has tried unsuccessfully to conceive for about a year. Physical exams and tests help determine the cause of the infertility. Tests include analysis of ovulation, x-rays of the fallopian tubes and uterus for women, and semen analysis for men.

As many as 85 to 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with drug therapies or surgical repair of reproductive organs, says the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Some couples have success with in vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves a number of steps including ovarian stimulation. Fertility drugs stimulate the growth of multiple eggs in the ovaries instead of the single egg that normally develops each month.

A separate issue from infertility, growth hormone deficiency results in children who are significantly shorter than most children of the same age and gender. Their body proportions and intellectual capabilities are not affected. Children with growth hormone deficiency tend to grow slowly, typically less than two inches per year, although the slow growth rate might not be evident until the child is two or three years old.

If a physical exam shows abnormal growth patterns, blood tests and imaging tests are used to diagnose growth hormone deficiency. The treatment involves growth hormone injections that can be given at home, anywhere from a few times a week to every day. Many children will then grow quickly, with their growth rate decreasing slowly after the first few years.