ProcreaWinnipeg, Manitoba
Procrea

Ovulation Induction

Ovulation induction involves ovarian stimulation by medication to induce ovulation, the release of a mature egg from its follicle in the ovary. Ovulation induction is one of the most successful means of treating infertility in women who do not ovulate naturally or reliably. Not all women are candidates for ovulation induction. To determine the need for ovulation drugs, patients undergo a series of tests to identify the presence and exact cause of the ovulation problem. Reversible causes of anovulation include stress, weight gain or loss, drug use, medical illness or strenuous physical activity. Adrenal disorders, thyroid problems and liver dysfunction should be ruled out prior to therapy. Once a diagnosis is made, it can take months to determine the right drug and dosage to trigger ovulation.

Infertility specialists rely on a group of ovulation drugs, often called "fertility drugs," to temporarily correct ovulatory problems and to increase a woman's pregnancy potential. These drugs are used to control the time of ovulation or to regulate erratic ovulation patterns. They are also used to correct post-ovulatory problems, increase the frequency of ovulation in women who ovulate infrequently, and cause ovulation in women who do not ovulate.

Ovulation drugs are necessary to treat women who do not menstruate but who desire fertility. Ovulation drugs can stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg per cycle. This is done in preparation for various forms of assisted reproduction such as insemination or IVF. The intent is to develop several mature eggs so that at least one egg may be fertilized and result in pregnancy. Before medication to stimulate ovulation is taken, an evaluation should be performed to look for other hormonal imbalances. Correction of such problems may allow ovulation to occur without the use of fertility drugs.

The drugs do not make all women fertile. If they make women ovulate, they have a 5 to 25 percent chance to conceive each month. They only work during the month in which the medication is taken. There are potential risks and side effects associated with the use of ovulation drugs which may require close monitoring during their use. Women should discuss these issues with their doctor and weigh the risks against the benefits of ovulation-inducing agents.



« Ovulation induction is one of the most successful means of treating infertility in women who do not ovulate naturally or reliably. »