Ovulation induction is really a just a term used to indicate medications are being used to stimulate ovulation. Therefore, ovulation induction is actually less of a treatment and more of a component of many potential treatments. That said, when people refer to ovulation induction as a treatment, they are typically talking about it in conjunction with timed intercourse or IUI. Ovulation induction is an introductory level treatment used to help develop and ovulate an egg cell prior to sexual intercourse and or an IUI.
Ovulation induction may be a good place to start for those whose cause of infertility is an ovulation disorder. Ovulation disorders are often accompanied by infrequent, irregular, or absent menstrual cycles (also known as anovulation). Because eggs are released infrequently if, at all by those experiencing ovulation disorders, there is a highly reduced chance of attaining a successful pregnancy with no treatment intervention.
If you have been told you have premature ovarian failure (POF), irregular or absent periods, or have a high body mass index (BMI), there is a chance that your fertility issues are due to ovulation disorders.
How it Works
During a cycle, the female’s egg development will be monitored via Ultrasound and blood labs measuring estradiol (E2), progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). Some women may develop the eggs naturally, while others may need the assistance of Letrozole or Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) to help in recruiting a follicle.
Letrozole helps by stimulating the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) by the endocrine system. These two hormones help further guide the recruitment of other hormones that are essential for the ovarian cycle to function effectively.
Once a follicle has reached maturity (identified via Ultrasound), an injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) – often by the brand name of Ovidrel/Novarel/Pregnyl or Leuprolide – by the brand name Lupron will be administered to induce ovulation. By triggering your ovulation via one of these medications, we can help ensure your ovulation takes place and know when it happens.
If your ovulation induction protocol calls for timed intercourse and not IUI or IVF, then you will be instructed to have intercourse on the day after your injection as well as two days later. To increase the amount of sperm ejaculated into the vaginal canal, we recommend the male partner abstain from any type of ejaculation for at least 3 days prior to trigger day.