What is ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction, or ovarian stimulation, is a process that uses fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce and release mature eggs. This process gives women a better chance of conceiving naturally or using fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The woman will take medications to stimulate the production of multiple eggs. During this time, our Southern California fertility clinic team will monitor the growth of the eggs using bloodwork and ultrasounds. The goal is to determine when ovulation (the release of the egg) will occur.
Who can this treatment benefit?
The best candidates for ovulation induction are women who don’t ovulate regularly or at all, have infrequent menstrual cycles or have unexplained infertility. For these reasons, it can be helpful for women with medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Women may also rely on ovarian stimulation as part of the egg freezing process. When a woman has more eggs to freeze, she is more likely to achieve pregnancy when she’s ready to conceive.
The medications used for ovulation induction
Our Southern California fertility clinic team will determine which medications you need based on your health history and diagnostic test results. You may take oral or injectable hormones.
- Oral medications like Clomid and Femara can foster the growth of follicles (the fluid-filled sacs that contain the eggs).
- Gonadotropins, like luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, can help the ovaries produce multiple follicles and release mature eggs.
If your doctor prescribes injectable medications, our team will walk you through each step of the process. You’ll learn how to prepare your medications and deliver the injections. Even patients who are uncomfortable with needles find our support helps them move forward with this treatment.
Considerations for patients
Other conditions can interfere with ovulation. These may include thyroid disorders, obesity, excessive exercise and eating disorders. Sometimes, ovulation issues will stabilize after treating these underlying conditions. For example, if a woman who is overweight loses weight, her hormones may balance, and her cycle may return to normal.
To learn more about ovulation induction, and to determine whether it’s a good option for you, contact us to make an appointment at our Southern California fertility clinic.