Ovulation induction (OI)
What is ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction (OI) is a simple, minimally invasive option used to treat women with ovulation disorders. Hormone treatment through medication encourages your ovaries to develop mature follicles and release eggs.
If you have an ovulation disorder, seeing an ovulation induction specialist can help you to conceive either naturally with timed intercourse, or with artificial insemination (IUI).
How does OI work?
OI works in cycles that sync with your menstrual cycle. Before OI starts, your ovulation induction specialist will confirm your cycle with blood tests and a transvaginal ultrasound.
On the fourth day of your menstrual cycle you will start to take the medication. Usually, this will be clomiphene citrate, an oral medication that causes your brain to produce greater amounts of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) than it normally would. Some women don’t respond to this medication, and need to have injections of FSH. The effect is the same – FSH encourages your follicles to develop and release eggs.
You will be monitored with a blood test and an ultrasound to determine the day you ovulate. For some women with very irregular periods, this can take a little longer than usual. When you do, you will be ready to try to conceive naturally or with IUI.
Common queries about OI
OI has quite good success rates – partly because many women who are treated with it simply have ovulation disorders and no other fertility issues. In women who take the oral medication (clomiphene citrate), 80% will ovulate, and up to 40% will conceive as a result. For women who don’t respond to the oral medication and need to have injections of FSH, upwards of 95% will ovulate and, once they do, half will fall pregnant.
OI is suitable for women with ovulation disorders – a specialist can diagnose these. You may have irregular ovulation or may not ovulate at all. As a result, you might have irregular periods or no periods.
For more information about ovulation induction, see the IVFAustralia website.