The purpose of Ovulation Induction (OI) is to produce multiple eggs to increase the likelihood of conception. For women who do not ovulate regularly, oral or injectable medications may be administered to support oocyte or egg development.
Common causes of ovulation problems may include stress, weight fluctuations, disorders of the pituitary or thyroid gland, raised prolactin levels, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Early menopause or ovarian failure after cancer treatment may also contribute to ovulation problems.
The Ovulation Induction Process
Ovulation-inducing medications taken by mouth may be used in conjunction with an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure, or on their own to help boost your natural ability to get pregnant. Oral medications are usually the first line of treatment when a doctor initially addresses your infertility concerns.
If the oral medication regimen does not produce a pregnancy, you may be prescribed injectable ovulation-inducing drugs. While less convenient than taking a pill, injectable medications are considered more effective.
What to Expect
Natural ovulation usually produces one egg. OI medications stimulate many follicles in the ovaries so that several eggs mature at once. While taking the medication, we will use blood work and ultrasound to monitor the development of your follicles (egg sacs) in order to determine the right time for an insemination or egg retrieval. Once the follicles are fully developed and the eggs are mature, your doctor will perform either an IUI procedure, where sperm is inseminated into the uterus, or an egg retrieval procedure, where egg and sperm are fertilized outside the body.
If you are using an OI medication to conceive naturally, monitoring can also help you schedule the best time for sex.
If you are attempting to get pregnant naturally, you can take an at-home pregnancy test if your period is late.