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Ovulation Induction

What is Ovulation Induction?

Ovulation Induction is a low-intervention type of fertility treatment that involves the administration of hormonal medication to cause ovulation, control ovulation or increase the number of eggs produced during ovulation, to increase the likelihood of achieving a pregnancy. 

Why is Ovulation Induction used?

If ovulation is not occurring regularly, it may be necessary to give hormone medication to stimulate the ovaries. However, before these treatments are used, it is important that thorough investigations are carried out to determine why regular ovulation is not occurring, as OI does not suit all patients, and some women may be better suited to more specialised treatment. 

Who is Ovulation Induction suitable for?

Ovulation Induction may be recommended by your Doctor for: 

  • Women with unexplained infertility.
  • Women with long, irregular or infrequent cycles.
  • Women who do not ovulate spontaneously. 
  • Couples with normal male investigations. 

Conversely, Ovulation Induction treatment is not recommended for:

  • Women over 38 years of age. 
  • Women with tubal infertility (ie – blocked or damaged fallopian tubes).
  • Women with severe endometriosis. 
  • Couples with suboptimal sperm parameters. 

What are the risks of Ovulation Induction?

When undertaking ovulation induction, there is a slightly increased chance of producing too many follicles, with a very small risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS).  OHSS symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating and dehydration.  Our stringent monitoring practices will enable us to determine if you are at an increased risk of developing OHSS. 

During an ovulation induction cycle, we will aim to stimulate the growth of only one or two follicles to minimise the risk of OHSS, as well as multiple pregnancy.   

About 10% of women undergoing ovulation induction experience hot flushes, while other side effects can include nausea, breast tenderness and mild mood swings.  These side effects are less likely with letrozole than they are with clomiphene or FSH. 

How is Ovulation Induction done?

Ovulation Induction is a four-step process: 

Stimulation

Specialised hormone medication is given to promote the growth and development of the fluid-filled sacs, called follicles, containing eggs.  These medications may be oral or injected 

Monitoring

The effect of the hormone medication is closely monitored using blood tests and ultrasound, to ensure that treatment is perfectly timed and safe to proceed. 

Ovulation

When the results of your blood tests and ultrasound indicate that your follicle/s is/are approaching maturity (usually around 17 – 20mm in size), you will be given an injection of hormones to trigger or initiate ovulation, before proceeding with intercourse or insemination, as prescribed by your Doctor. 

Monitoring and Support 

Following ovulation and intercourse or insemination, your hormone levels will be monitored and supported, if necessary, until your pregnancy test. 

How can we help you?

If you would like more information on ovulation induction at Fertility Northor if you would like to start ovulation induction treatment with our specialist team, please contact our friendly Administration team.