What Is Ovitrelle & What Is It Used For?

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 03/31/2014

Ovitrelle is a medicine containing recombinant hCG and is administered to women in order to trigger ovulation during a cycle of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation or ICSI.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Composition

Its active substance is choriogonadotropin alfa, also named recombinant hCG, human choriogonadotropin. The name recombinant means that it has not been purified using human substances. On the contrary, it is synthesized in the laboratory using genetic engineering techniques and its origin is artificial.

Apart from its active substance, alfa choriogonadotropin 250 mg per 0.5 ml, as excipients, manitol 27,3 mg , L-methionine 0.1 mg and 0.5 mg of poloxamer 188 can be found.

Generally, Ovitrelle is available in two formats:

Usage instructions

The administration of Ovitrelle is carried out subcutaneously, i.e. injected under the skin. Prefilled syringes are of only one use and must only be administered if the solution has dissolved completely and no suspended particles can be observed.

Its administration is simple, but normally the medical staff of the clinic tend to administer the first dose to show the patient how to use it. It can subsequently be administered at home. The patient can do it himself or a family member can help her.

It’s important to fully read the information pamphlet of the medication before preparing or injecting it. If any doubts arise, the best is to ask them to the medical staff.

Contraindications

In some cases its usage is not recommended:

  • Allergy to the active substance or its excipients.
  • Tumous of the ovaries, uterus or breasts.
  • Vaginal hemorragia of unknown origin.
  • Cysts in the ovaries not caused by the ovarian polycystic syndrome.
  • Ectopic pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women and women that are breastfeeding.

Adverse reactions

The administration of Ovitrelle may have undesired side effects. The most common are:

  • Gastro-intestinal alterations, such as vomits and nausea.
  • Swelling or abdominal pain.
  • Local reactions in the area of the injection.
  • Headaches.
  • Tiredness.
  • Mild or moderate Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.

Ovitrelle and embryo transfer

Ovitrelle is a drug of choice for triggering ovulation in case the hormones allow the embryo transfer to be performed during the cycle you are in, that is, egg retrieval, egg fertilisation and transfer into the womb after three of five days.

There are also other medicines to trigger ovulation affecting the endometrium. In addition, these medicines do not allow the transfer to be performed after five days. Instead, embryos are frozen until the next cycle, when they are thawed and prepared for implanting after optimising endometrial receptivity.

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Authors and contributors

 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
BA, MA
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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