Most women with regular menstrual cycles are ovulating, and ovulation can be confirmed with home testing, ultrasound scanning or a blood test for progesterone taken a week or so after the predicted day of ovulation (Day 21 progesterone).
For most women suffering from irregular menstrual cycles, ovulation is occurring infrequently or not at all, affecting the ability to conceive naturally.
Ovulation Induction is a process to encourage the production of eggs in the woman’s body by means of fertility drugs. These may be tablets such as Clomiphene, or injections of the hormone FSH.
When is ovulation induction offered as a treatment?
It is often offered as the first step in fertility treatment where a woman who has not yet reached the menopause isn’t ovulating. The most common reason is because of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), although there may be other reasons. The treatment is not applicable for anyone who has begun the menopause.
What happens during ovulation induction?
Mr Julian Norman-Taylor will decide whether tablets or a course of fertility injections are most appropriate to stimulate the ovaries to produce a mature egg. For those having injections, the patient will be expected to inject themselves daily with the fertility drugs whilst being regularly monitored via ultrasound and blood tests.
When the follicle(s) has reached a suitable stage of maturity this will be the ideal time to become pregnant. In order to precisely pick the opportune moment, a final injection of drugs can be administered to encourage the follicles to produce the eggs. Within one to two days, sexual intercourse.
Are there any risks to ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is a relatively inexpensive, safe, non-invasive treatment which is why it is often regarded as the starting point in fertility treatment. The biggest risk is multiple pregnancy, as a result of the fertility drugs. This is why the ultrasound scans are important to monitor how the follicles are developing.
There is also a small risk (less than one per cent) of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Symptoms can include vomiting, shortness of breath, pain and a distended abdomen. Normally, the most severe cases are picked up early in the course of drugs as anyone developing more than 20 follicles is most at risk. In these cases, the treatment may be stopped and rescheduled at a later date with a lower dosage of the drugs.
How successful is ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is very successful in terms of stimulating the ovaries to produce the eggs at the right time. Unfortunately, this is not a guarantee of becoming pregnant which be affected by many other factors from age to the quality of the sperm.
To discover whether ovulation induction is the appropriate fertility treatment for you and your partner, arrange a consultation at Chiltern Fertility and our fertility expert Mr Julian Norman-Taylor by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01865 782856. Alternatively, fill in the contact form and one of the team will be in touch.