Ovulation Induction Treatment

What is Ovulation Induction?

  • Ovulation Induction (OI) is a fertility treatment which involves the use of medications to increase the number of eggs produced during a cycle or regulate or cause ovulation.
  • This technique is used so that sexual intercourse, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination procedures can be scheduled at an optimal time and the opportunity for pregnancy can be increased.

What is the primary process of the OI treatment?

OI process involves the following steps:-
Step 1 – Stimulation

  • Ovulation induction medications include clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins, etc. These oral drugs promote the growth of the follicles (fluid-filled sacks) carrying the eggs.
  • These medicines replace FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and then the ovaries produce multiple follicles and mature, high-quality eggs.
  • The hormone levels and follicular development are tracked throughout the stimulation cycle and accordingly medication protocol is set for best results.

Step 2- Control

  • Blood tests and ultrasound are used to monitor the effect of the hormonal medicines introduced.
  • It helps to determine the hormone levels, identify the maturation status of eggs, and assess the size of follicles.
  • The process is known as Follicular Monitoring.

Step 3- Egg Release (Ovulation)

  • When the follicles are ready, generally between 16 and 20 millimetres in diameter depending on your medication, an injection of hCG is given to prepare you for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or intercourse.

What kinds of fertility medicines are available for OI?

Different types of fertility medications are available for OI, and the doctor chooses the drug or its combination according to the case. These medicines include:

Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid or Serophene)

  • This medication is prescribed to females with long ovulation cycles and irregular periods; it limits the effects of estrogens and causes the body to generate more follicle-stimulating hormone.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (HMG) 

  • It helps in stimulating the growth of multiple eggs and follicles during an ovulation cycle.
  • It is obtained from the urine of postmenopausal females.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) 

  • It is used to stimulate the development of the follicles (fluid-filled sacks) which contain the eggs.
  • The drug is available as a manufactured drug, in a natural form or procured from the urine of postmenopausal women.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) 

  • It is used to stimulate releasing of the eggs (ovulation).
  • It is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and obtained from the urine of pregnant females.

Who could benefit from this treatment?

  • OI is beneficial for women/couples:
  • with unexplained infertility
  • with long, irregular or infrequent cycles
  • who are not spontaneously ovulating
  • with no male factor infertility
  • OI treatment is not for women/couples:
  • over 38 years of age
  • with tubal blockage or severe tubal damage
  • with severe endometriosis
  • with a poor sperm motility or low sperm count