If you and your partner are considering fertility treatment, you may need to decide whether or not you would like to pursue ovulation induction. Fertility treatments are often used in combination with various drugs that are designed to help trigger ovulation. Before undergoing any type of fertility treatment, be sure to speak with your reproductive endocrinologist about ovulation induction.
What is Ovulation Induction?
Ovulation induction is a type of medical therapy often performed alongside certain fertility treatments. Typically, medications that are used to help trigger the development of egg follicles are known as ovulation inducers. Ovulation induction often triggers the development of more than one egg during ovulation.
Why Induce Ovulation?
Ovulation is often induced in order to help women who cannot ovulate regularly produce an egg during their montly cycle. Ovulation induction is also used in order to trigger the ovaries to release more than one egg during ovulation. Sometimes, inducing ovulation can allow two or three eggs to be released at once, therefore increasing your chances of pregnancy.
Who Can Benefit from Ovulation Induction?
A large percentage of women seeking fertility treatment can benefit from ovulation induction. In particular, women suffering from the following conditions may find ovulation induction particularly helpful in increasing their chances of pregnancy:
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- pituitary disorders
- irregular menstruation (oligomenorrhea)
Factors Affecting Ovulation Induction
There are certain factors that will affect the success of ovulation. Before choosing ovulation induction, your reproductive endocrinologist will evaluate:
- your egg quality
- your egg quantity
If the quality and quantity of your ovarian reserve is poor, ovulation induction may not be the right route for you.
Types of Ovulation Inducers
There are four types of medication that can be used to help trigger ovulation.
Clomid, or clomiphene citrate, is one of the most well known ovulation inducers. Clomid is a relatively inexpensive fertility medication and can usually be used with limited monitoring. However, it does require some blood testing, so it should only be used with the supervision of your reproductive endocrinologist.
How Is Clomid Taken?
Clomid is taken orally, on specific days of your menstrual cycle. It is typically on through Days 3 to 7 or through Days 5 to 9. It is sometimes paired with Provera, a medication that can help to induce menstruation. The initial dose of Clomid is taken immediately after your menstrual period begins. This dose is typically around 50 milligrams, although it can be increased if ovulation does not occur. After Ovulation Begins
Your reproductive endocrinologist will monitor you for ovulation. When an egg is released, you and your partner will engage in timed intercourse, in order to increase the chances of conception. Fertility treatments, including IUI will also begin at this time.
Clomid Success Rates
Clomid is usually highly successful in inducing ovulation. Between 50% and 80% of women taking Clomid will begin to ovulate. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will be able to achieve pregnancy. Pregnancy rates per cycle are typically between 10% and 15%, however this depends upon the type of fertility treatment that you and your partner are using. Pregnancy rates with Clomid are lower because the medication can sometimes compromise the quality of your eggs and cervical mucus.