Ovulation Induction: What You Need to Know

Woman holding pregnancy test after going through fertility treatment and ovulation induction

Ovulation Induction: What You Need to Know

For women who are not ovulating or who have irregular menstrual cycles or unexplained infertility, ovulation-inducing medications are often the first method physicians will try to achieve pregnancy.

In 25 percent of women who experience infertility, the cause is a problem with ovulation, or the release of a mature egg every month, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

What is Ovulation Induction?

Ovulation induction uses fertility medications to stimulate the release of one or more eggs from the ovary. Sometimes, a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI) is used in conjunction with ovulation induction to achieve pregnancy.

There are two types of ovulation induction medications:

Oral medications. These are usually the first line of treatment for women who do not ovulate or who ovulate infrequently.

Injectable medications: If oral medications are unsuccessful, injectable medications such as a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) a.

Who Can Benefit from Ovulation Induction?

Ovulation induction is an option for many individuals for various reasons.

  • Those who do not ovulate or have infrequent or irregular ovulation that limits opportunities for pregnancy.
  • Individuals with ovulation difficulties who might need additional eggs to increase the chance of conception or conception through IUI.
  • Those with PCOS.
  • Patients with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, which means we can’t pinpoint a cause for infertility.

Using the Fertility Drugs Clomid, Letrozole and Gonadotropins

Oral Fertility Drugs

The oral drugs used by fertility specialists at Fertility Medical Specialists Group (FSMG) are clomiphene citrate (brand name Clomid and Serophene) and letrozole (Femara).

Clomid is approved by the FDA for ovulation induction. Letrozole is a drug to treat breast cancer and also promotes ovulation.

Clomid works by blocking estrogen’s function in the brain, causing it to signal the pituitary gland to produce more FSH and LH, resulting in ovulation. Letrozole causes the ovary to make less estrogen, which was the same effect in increasing FSH and LH.

Letrozole and Clomid have similar pregnancy success rates. Letrozole has been shown to be more effective in helping women with PCOS.

Injectable Fertility Drugs

Typically, about 30 percent of patients who use oral fertility drugs do not ovulate, and injectable medications may be used. Gonadotropin medications contain FSH or LH or both together — including such medications as Follistim, Menopur, and Gonal-F. Gonadotropins are often used for women who don’t respond to Clomid or letrozole. These also are used to generate multiple eggs for IVF and egg freezing.

With fertility clinic locations in San Diego and Carlsbad, CA, FSMG offers tailored care plans and reproductive technologies to all patients. Connect with us today to learn more about ovulation induction for infertility treatment.



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