Ovulation Induction

All the eggs a woman will have in her lifetime are present in her ovaries at birth. At the start of puberty, one of those eggs will mature each month and be released by the ovary, a process called ovulation. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube, where it is available to be fertilized by sperm.

Ovulatory dysfunction is a common cause of infertility. Anovulation is the absence of ovulation, often signaled by irregular or even nonexistent menstrual periods.

Oligo-ovulation is when ovulation is occurring but on an irregular basis.

Both anovulation and oligo-ovulation can be treated using oral medications that help to regulate and enhance ovulation. Clomiphene citrate (available under the brand name Clomid) and letrozole (brand name Femara) are the two most commonly prescribed ovulation medications; both can be used on their own or together with Ovidrel or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which help to augment the other medication’s effectiveness.

While oral medications are usually the first course of treatment for ovulatory dysfunction, if they are ineffective, there are other fertility treatments available. In that case, injectable medications such as Gonal-F®, Follistim®, Bravelle®, or Menopur® can be used, which vary in both ease of use as well as cost.

Both oral and injectable medications can be combined with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in order to maximum the patient’s chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. Any of the above medications can help induce ovulation in women who are not ovulating at all, and they can strengthen ovulation in women who have weak or otherwise dysfunctional ovulation.

Regardless of the specific approach – which will be formulated based on the individual patient’s medical history and test results – all of these medications and the procedures used to administer and/or enhance them require careful monitoring which will be performed by your Fertility Institute specialist.

It is important that we make sure strong ovulation is occurring, but we also want to prevent patients from ovulating too many eggs which carry a risk of multiple pregnancy and ovarian hyperstimulation.

Our monitoring process includes blood tests to measure hormone levels, and pelvic ultrasound examinations to scan the ovaries and measure follicle growth and egg maturation. Based on the results of these tests, your medication dosage will be adjusted until we achieve the ideal balance for optimal ovulation.

Our specialists are well versed in evaluating, monitoring and treating all types of ovulatory dysfunction; in their hands, these medications and procedures are safe and effective, and have helped countless couples achieve the successful induction of ovulation and successful pregnancies.