Many women have difficulty conceiving a child because they have anovulation. Simply put, they don’t ovulate, or if they do, their menstrual cycles are extremely irregular.
Anovulation occurs for many reasons, but polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common reason why women don’t produce and release an oocyte every month. In these cases, fertility doctors use ovulation induction to prompt a woman’s ovaries to grow and release a mature egg.
The treatment protocol is successful in promoting a woman’s body to release an egg in 75 percent of cases. By enhancing fertility in this way, there’s a better overall chance of a sperm fertilizing an egg, resulting in pregnancy. However, be aware that a woman’s age and other fertility factors may influence the rate of success. If pregnancy isn’t achieved after several rounds, IVF is usually the next option considered.
How is Ovulation Induced?
Oral medication or injectable gonadotropins are commonly used to induce the ovaries to produce and release an egg each month. During a cycle, the medication is taken on specific days of the menstrual cycle or injections are given starting early in the menstrual cycle and continuing daily until one or more mature ovarian follicles are evident via ultrasound. Generally, oral medications are attempted before moving to injections as this method of stimulating the ovaries is more expensive.
Ultrasound scans, blood tests, and urine tests may be required during the cycle so your fertility doctor can monitor progress and the timing of the egg’s release.
How Does Fertilization Occur?
While the same medications and hormones are used to induce ovaries to make eggs to collect for IVF, ovulation induction can also be used to prompt the release of a single, healthy egg. Fertilization can occur naturally through intercourse or via IUI.
Are There Side Effects?
The drugs and hormones used to prompt ovulation do have side effects. These may include:
- Risk of multiple births,
- Hot flashes,
- Hyper-stimulation of the ovaries,
- A headache,
- Uterine bleeding.
Most of the side effects are not severe and women tolerate them well. For those who can’t, another drug or hormone may be an option to reduce discomfort.
Women with PCOS can become pregnant with fertility treatments. In fact, fertility treatment options are usually highly successful. To determine which treatment option is right for you, schedule a fertility evaluation today. We look forward to helping you realize the family of your dreams!