Ovulation Induction Treatment
How it Works
Each month, the potential for pregnancy is rooted in the release of a mature egg during ovulation. During the first phase, known as the follicular phase, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is released from the brain. This stimulates the growth of egg follicles (approximately 10-12 each month) in the ovaries. Of these, only one matures into the dominant follicle. On day 12-14 of the menstrual cycle, another hormone called Luteinizing hormone (LH) is released from the brain to trigger ovulation. 24-35 hours later, the egg is released from the ovaries and awaits fertilization from sperm. Then, the woman moves to the second half of her cycle (the luteal phase), if the egg isn’t fertilized progesterone levels drop and her uterine lining sheds. The entire cycle then repeats.
With ovulation induction, medications are administered over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle to encourage ovulation. For some patients, this approach — together with timed intercourse — is all that is needed to achieve a pregnancy.
The Ovulation Induction Treatment Process
A patient may choose to fertilize the released egg naturally with timed intercourse or use Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). The latter is appropriate if there are issues with low sperm count, low sperm motility, or unexplained infertility.
A blood test will be drawn two weeks after fertilization to see if a pregnancy has resulted. If not, this cycle may be repeated each month to increase a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant.
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What percentage of infertility is caused by ovulation problems?
What medications are used in ovulation induction?
There is no single medication that works best for all cases. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of action for you. Typically, the medications used in ovulation induction cycles include:
- Clomiphene citrate
- Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist
- Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG)
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
What are the success rates of ovulation induction treatment?
How do doctors monitor this form of treatment for effectiveness?
Who is a good candidate for ovulation induction treatment?
What are the benefits of ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is an affordable option for patients experiencing difficulty with conceiving. It is also a non-intrusive process, making it an ideal first option, if appropriate.
Are there any risks associated with ovulation induction?
Other than possible short-term side effects, there is a potential risk for more than one egg to be released—resulting in a multiple birth pregnancy (for example twins).That said, the risk of twins is low, and triplets, in our hands, is extremely low.
Is ovulation induction ever combined with another fertility treatment?
Depending on the causes of infertility, it would be typically be a component of an IUI or IVF cycle.
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