Ovulation induction therapy is an effective treatment for infertility in women. In some circumstances, this treatment helps them to get pregnant. When a woman is ovulating irregularly or not ovulating entirely, it becomes difficult to become pregnant. This calls for hormonal therapy to encourage ovulation.
During ovulation induction, your doctor administers fertility medications that stimulate egg production from the ovaries. Concurrently, the doctor can also perform intrauterine insemination to fertilize the egg after production. To achieve this, the doctor places washed, concentrated sperm into the uterus to meet and fertilize the incoming egg.
How Ovulation Induction Therapy Works
Your doctor prescribes ovary-stimulating medications to counter irregular cycles or unexplained infertility. Ovulation induction medications involve these two treatments:
The treatment for oral medications begins with an ultrasound and blood tests on the third day of your monthly cycle. Between days 3-7, or the 5-9th day of your cycle, you take oral medications such as Clomiphene or Letrozole. And finally, the doctor checks for egg development after day 10 by performing a transvaginal ultrasound.
You can also monitor for progress at home using ovulation predictor kits and only see the doctor when the time is perfect for insemination.
Injection treatment using Luteinizing Hormone or Follicle Stimulating Hormone is the next step in case oral medications don’t work. Like the oral treatments, this therapy starts with blood work and ultrasound on the third day of your cycle. On this day, your doctor administers injectable medications for 6-10 days.
During this treatment period, your fertility doctor performs 3-4 ultrasounds and bloodwork to monitor the follicle’s growth pace and rate of development. After achieving a 16-18mm follicle diameter, you take another hormone injection (human chorionic gonadotropin) to trigger ovulation. And finally, IUI or intercourse is performed to achieve conception.
What Are the Benefits of Ovulation Induction?
Ovulation induction aims to stimulate egg production to allow the woman to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, or timed intercourse. And it increases one’s odds of producing a viable egg.
This treatment is non-invasive, safe, painless, and low-cost compared to treatments such as IVF, which include lab tests, medications, and minor procedures.
Lastly, a professional fertility doctor can combine ovulation induction with other treatments like IVF or IUI for a holistic treatment of severe infertility cases.
Are There Risks to Ovulation Induction Therapy?
Medications used in this therapy could have mild to severe side effects, including headaches, nausea, bloating, tenderness in the pelvic region, weight gain, loss of breath, and blurry vision. However, most of these side effects fade away within a few weeks without needing treatment.
In addition, the medicines can overstimulate the ovaries and cause the release of multiple eggs; this situation can lead to a high-risk pregnancy with multiple embryos.
Who Might Benefit From Ovulation Induction Therapy?
Ovulation induction is ideal for women who do not experience ovulation or have irregular ovulation and can benefit from this treatment to aid in conception.
And when combined with IVF, it can help to stimulate egg production for lab fertilization and later implantation into the uterus.
Before the treatment, your doctor looks at the following:
- Disorders that inhibit ovulation
- The woman’s hormone levels
- Other factors, such as eating disorders, thyroid disorders, or obesity
- The woman’s fitness level
Ovulation Induction Therapy Q&As
Q: How can my ovulation induction therapy be more successful?
A: The Follicle stimulating hormone combined with human menopausal gonadotropin induces superovulation, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Q: How long will it take to get pregnant after ovulation induction therapy?
A: The best chance to get pregnant is one or two days after ovulation.
Q: Can ovulation inductions fail?
A: Weight fluctuations, stress, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are common causes of failure during ovulation induction therapy. Ovarian failure, high prolactin levels, and disorders of the pituitary and thyroid glands can also cause ovulation failure.
Q: How many times is it safe to do ovulation induction?
A: You should only go consecutively for up to six sessions of ovulation induction cycles.
Q: What is the next step in ovulation induction therapy?
A: After successful superovulation, you can have IVF or IUI treatments to fertilize the egg.
Q: Does ovulation induction therapy improve egg quality?
A: Induction therapy improves the quality and quantity of the resulting eggs and, as a result, increases the pregnancy success rate.
Q: Who is the ideal candidate for ovulation induction therapy?
A: A woman experiencing irregular or no ovulation makes a good candidate for this therapy to boost her egg production per cycle.
Q: Can folic acid boost ovulation?
A: Folic acid supplements can significantly boost fertility and help you ovulate more regularly.
Q: How often does ovulation induction therapy fail?
A: Ovulation therapy fails in about 20% of induced pregnancies.
Q: Which vitamin is the best for boosting your fertility?
A: Vitamin B9 (Folate) is essential in improving both male and female fertility, especially promoting healthy fetal development.