The Basics of Ovulation Induction
What is Ovulation Induction
Ovulation induction is an introductory fertility treatment in which medications are used to stimulate egg growth and ovulate prior to insemination. Because ovulation induction is truly a medication-based treatment, it must be combined with timed intercourse or an intrauterine insemination (aka artificial insemination) to result in pregnancy.
Who Ovulation Induction Helps
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.
What to Expect
The Ovulation Induction Process
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.
During a cycle, the female’s egg development will be monitored via ultrasound and blood labs measuring estradiol (E2), progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH).
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 (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, 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 the trigger day.
If your ovulation induction protocol calls for an IUI – your artificial insemination will be scheduled 12-36 hours after trigger.