Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm Describes Common Infertility Treatments

Marla AhlgrimmIn the following brief post, retired pharmacist and women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm offers information on the most common infertility treatment medications.

Clomiphene citrate: According to Marla Ahlgrimm, clomiphene citrate, which is sold under the brand names Clomid and Serophene, are typically prescribed with a starting dosage of 50 mg each day. Over the course of three to six menstrual cycles, this medication is expected to increase the amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in a woman’s pituitary gland. Potential side effects include increased risk of multiple births and miscarriage. Hot flashes, headaches, and mood swings are also common.

Synthetic human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): Sold under multiple brand names, hCG is given as an intramuscular injection and is used to trigger ovulation. Marla Ahlgrimm reports it is often a second step when prior medications to induce ovulation have failed. There are currently no known side effects of taking this medication by itself.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): While clomiphene citrate is used to stimulate FSH production, FSH may also be given as a subcutaneous injection. (Marla Ahlgrimm explains that subcutaneous injections are those given under the skin.) This medication bypasses the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to directly trigger follicle growth within the ovaries. Bravelle and Follistim are the two most common brand names of this medication. Common side effects include potential for multiple births, miscarriage and/or premature delivery, rash at injection site, breast tenderness, mood swings, and hyperstimulation syndrome.

Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG): Sold under the brand names Repronex and Menopur, hMG is a compound of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormones. It is given to women to trigger the release of multiple eggs during the menstrual cycle. hMG carries the same side effects as FSH medications.

Marla Ahlgrimm notes that infertility is different for women of different ages. Women under 35 are considered infertile if they have unsuccessfully tried to conceive over a period of 12 months; women over the age of 35 are diagnosed with infertility after six months of unsuccessful sexual activity.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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