There are so many treatments available now to help you to conceive – Ovulation Induction is a fertility treatment that uses medications to cause and regulate ovulation, to increase the opportunity for pregnancy for women who suffer from disordered or complete lack of ovulation as a cause of their subfertility.
What is it?
Who is it for?
When is it used?
What to expect with Ovulation Induction?
These are the stages you can expect with ovulation induction:
Stimulation: You will be prescribed oral medication alone, injections under the skin, or a combination of both which help promote the growth of one follicle that contains an egg (mono-ovulation).
Your hormone levels and follicle development are tracked throughout this cycle, and if required your medication may be altered for the best results.
Control: Tracking the hormone levels with blood tests and follicle development with ultrasound determines when to start stimulation and whether response rates are appropriate or whether a cycle may need to be cancelled due to overstimulation (the growth of multiple follicles at the same time). This is essential to reduce the risk of multiple births (twins and triplets).
Ovulation: When the follicles are mature, you will take an intramuscular injection of hCG that will induce ovulation in preparation for intercourse or intra-uterine insemination (IUI).
What medication is used with Ovulation Induction?
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid or Serophene): a selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM): This is prescribed to women with infrequent periods and long ovulation cycles, as it blocks the effects of oestrogen and causes the body to produce more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Letrazole: an aromatase inhibitor: This is used to reduce the conversion of androgens (male hormone) to oestrogen which ultimately leads to the body producing more FSH.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): Stimulates the development of the fluid-filled sacks containing the eggs.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): The hormone hCG triggers ovulation, releasing the eggs. The two most common drugs used are Pregnyl and Ovidrel.
Who is the best candidate for Ovulation Induction?
Ovulation induction treatment is recommended for:
- Women with unexplained infertility, have long, irregular or infrequent cycles and who are not spontaneously ovulating.
- Please keep in mind, that Ovulation Induction treatment is not recommended for women over 38 years of age, women with tubal blockage or severe tubal damage or women with severe endometriosis.
- Couples with a low sperm count or poor sperm motility should also look at other fertility treatments.
Are there any risks with Ovulation Induction?
As with any treatment, it is best to know all the information regarding the procedure before making a decision. Fertility drugs can sometimes cause an excessive response from some women ovaries. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) occurs in a minority of women and symptoms can include severe discomfort, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension and dehydration. If this happens to you, please contact the fertility clinic immediately. There is also an increased risk of multiple pregnancy with Ovulation Induction treatment, mainly if done in an unmonitored way.
Dr Tamara Hunter
Dr Tamara Hunter is the only female Certified Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) in Perth. “My role is to help you identifying the problem, and choosing the right treatment with you and your family. In the Fertility area I help with identifying the causes why you’re not falling pregnant, or assist with sperm, egg or embryo preservation.”
IVF Treatment is another option to assist in your journey to parenthood.
Not falling pregnant
Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse.
Your IVF Journey
IVF isn’t something that can be done quickly. Read more about the journey when you consider IVF treatment.
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