Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnHR-ant)

Definition - What does Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnHR-ant) mean?

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH-ant) is a synthetic hormone prescribed to decrease the effect of a naturally occurring hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is responsible for triggering the brain to release two additional sex hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutenizing hormone (LH), and is critical to the functioning of the sexual reproductive system. However, diminishing the ability of the natural GnRH allows for medical procedures such as infertility treatments or cancer treatments to occur.

FertilitySmarts explains Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnHR-ant)

GnRH-ant diminishes the abilities of GnRH, stopping FSH and LH from being produced or secreted. In women, this results in the immediate cessation of ovulation and the development of estrogen.

This is a critical step in an IVF procedure. Once natural ovulation is no longer occurring, an ovulation induction (OI) medication is taken. Ovulation resumes, but to a medically heightened degree. As a result, there is rapid development of multiple eggs and follicles in the ovaries. When the eggs are retrieved in preparation of the fertility treatment, there are several medically developed eggs available as opposed to single egg that would have occurred naturally. Having multiple eggs serves as a benefit for those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), increasing the chance of a successful embryo development and implantation.

In men, GnRH antagonist blocks the development of testosterone. This is particularly strategic for men with prostate cancer, as testosterone is a known enhancer of prostate related tumors.

Additionally, as of 2016, study and testing continues for further uses. Current usage of GnRH antagonist includes:

  • Infertility treatments
  • Cancer treatment
  • Endometriosis treatment
  • Sexual reproductive illnesses and conditions

As of 2016, the GnRH antagonists available on the market include:

  • Abarelix
  • Degarelix
  • Gainirelix
  • Cetrorelix
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