Ovulation induction is an important part of the IVF process, especially for patients with irregular menstrual cycles. But what is it, why is it done, and who needs ovulation induction? Here are the things you need to know about ovulation induction:
What is ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is the use of hormonal medication to stimulate the production and release of eggs in women who don’t ovulate regularly or at all (anovulation). It is usually carried out to raise a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant through timed intercourse, IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF, or other fertility treatments. Ovulation induction increases the number of eggs that mature in a menstrual cycle, making conception more likely to occur.
Ovulation Induction for IVF
Ovulation induction is performed before egg retrieval to encourage the production of many mature eggs, raising the chances of a successful pregnancy. A typical treatment cycle goes like this:
(I) Assessment: – The fertility expert will first conduct blood tests to determine hormones levels and an ultrasound to check the development of egg follicles
(II) Stimulation: – You will take oral/injectable medications to encourage the growth of the follicles containing eggs. Your doctor will let you know the best medication or combination of medications for your case.
(III) Monitoring:-You will be closely monitored via ultrasounds and blood tests to know the number and size of the developing follicles. This is very important to lower the risk of a multiple pregnancy and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
(IV) Trigger Shot:-Once the egg follicles have grown to an optimal size, you will be given “a hormonal shot” to trigger ovulation, and the doctor will insert a needle into your ovaries to retrieve the eggs.
Who Should Use Ovulation induction?
Anyone who has a problem with ovulation should consider ovulation induction. People who may undergo this treatment include:
● Patients undergoing IVF
● Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
● Those who are suffering from pituitary gland disorders
● Women with diabetes
● Women with unexplained infertility
● Women with reduced ovarian reserve
● Women with low body weight and eating disorders
How to Improve Ovulation Induction Outcomes
To get the best results from ovulation induction, it is important to keep a healthy lifestyle by quitting smoking and lowering caffeine and alcohol intake. It’s also good to consume a balanced diet that includes veggies, fruits, seeds, grains, and nuts and contains a very low amount of chemicals and improve fertility naturally.
Medications Used for Ovulation Induction
Here are the common medications that are used to adjust hormone levels and induce ovulation:
● Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) – it is used to encourage the development of egg follicles in women undergoing IVF.
● Aromatase inhibitors (letrozole) – these medications stimulate the release of eggs in PCOS women
● Insulin-sensitizing agents (metformin): these drugs are used in PCOS women who have suffered from diabetes.
● Gonadotropins – they are used to promote the development of eggs in women who do not produce enough LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone.
Ovulation induction is often used as the first line of treatment to improve the chances of success in IVF patients with irregular menstrual cycles. The goal of ovulation induction is to maximize egg production in the ovaries and ensure the maturation of multiple eggs for retrieval. Examples of medications used to stimulate ovulation include Clomid, letrozole, gonadotropins, etc.