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Ovulation Induction

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    Overview

    Ovulation is a crucial step in the menstrual cycle of women. The ovary releases a mature egg that reaches the uterus through fallopian tubes. Here, the egg meets the sperms and combines with one to form an embryo. Thus, pregnancy occurs when the embryo attaches itself to the uterine walls.

    However, for many women, the process of ovulation does not happen smoothly. As a result, that leads to problems in conceiving a baby. This blog covers some vital information regarding ovulation induction, why it is needed, etc.

    What is Ovulation Induction?

    Ovulation induction, as the name suggests, induces the process of ovulation artificially. The procedure involves the use of medication to encourage the production of one or more mature follicles. Without ovulation-inducing medicines, some women do not generate mature follicles regularly. As a result, it increases ovulation-related issues and leads to problems in conceiving.

    Why is it Needed?

    Initially, the main goal of ovulation induction therapy was to induce the production of a mature and healthy egg. The second purpose of ovulation induction was to increase the number of mature eggs in a single cycle. Hence, it helps to increase the chances of pregnancy. 

    Initially, injectable drugs were used in (IVF) and simpler therapies to induce egg production. Later, evidence arose to show that treating even women ovulating naturally with fertility medicines could be beneficial. 

    Consequently, these women with “unexplained infertility” may have minor ovulation problems. So, the drugs may cause two to three eggs to mature instead of just one. As a result, ovulation induction improved ovulation, which in turn increased pregnancy rates.

    When is it Needed?

    In ovulatory women, ovulation induction is always paired with techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI). Before using fertility medicines to induce ovulation, all underlying hormonal abnormalities, such as thyroid dysfunction, should be treated.

    Who Needs it?

    Women with issues regarding ovulation and other problems, including unexplained infertility, should consider Ovulation Induction therapy. Some of it include:

    • Women who have cycles that last longer than usual or are irregular.
    • Women who cannot ovulate at all.

    Moreover, the treatment to induce ovaries should not include:

    • Women above the age of 38.
    • Women who have blocked Fallopian tubes or severe tubal problems.
    • Women who suffer from disorders like severe endometriosis.

    Medications to Induce Ovulation

    Ovulation induction is a method of regulating a woman’s reproductive hormones and increasing the odds of ovulation using a range of hormone-based drugs. The following are some of the medications:

    • Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid or Serophene)

    This medication blocks the actions of estrogens and causes the body to create more follicle-stimulating hormones. Also, it is prescribed to women who have infrequent periods and extended ovulation cycles.

    • Aromatase inhibitors (Letrozole or Femara)

    This class of drug has similar indications to clomiphene citrate. In addition, it is particularly beneficial in PCOS patients.

    • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)

    This medication is generated from the urine of postmenopausal women. It stimulates the formation of follicles and, therefore eggs, throughout the ovulation cycle.

    • Gonadotropins

    Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are two injectable hormones that promote egg formation. These are also naturally produced by the pituitary gland. Unlike clomiphene citrate and letrozole, Gonadotropins require more frequent monitoring due to their potency in stimulating egg formation.

    What happens during the Procedure?

    The ovulation induction process is performed in steps:
    • Stimulation
    Clomiphene citrate is one of the drugs used to induce ovulation. Such oral medications stimulate the development of the follicles that contain the eggs. Other medications known as gonadotropins may also be recommended. That is for circumstances when you do not ovulate or ovulate but do not become pregnant after clomiphene therapy. Also, these medications can be given alone or in combination. Throughout the stimulation cycle, your hormone levels and follicular development are monitored. Depending on the progress, the drug or its dosage can be changed.
    • Control
    Before beginning with the ovulation induction therapy, tests are done to ensure the levels of other hormones. Similarly, after the procedure, more tests are done to observe the changes in your body. These tests are used to compare your natural hormone levels, as well as the changed levels.
    • Final results
    When your follicles mature and are ready to ovulate, you will receive an intramuscular injection of hCG. That prepares you for intercourse or intrauterine insemination when the follicles are mature. Besides, the follicles usually range between 16 and 20 mm in diameter, depending on the stimulation medication.

    Conclusion

    A good clinic and expert consultation are mandatory before you undergo this treatment. Apart from the benefits, you also need to weigh risks like multiple pregnancies and over-stimulation that may come along. 

    There are minimal risk rates if you choose experts for this procedure. To know more, you can book an appointment with us.

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