Ovulation induction is a technique used to encourage the natural hormonal cycle to stimulate the release of oocytes from your ovaries. There are a variety of reasons to why some women fail to ovulate, such as malnutrition, obesity or endocrine disorders where the hormone release from the brains pituitary gland is disturbed. Ovulation induction increases the chance of conception, either by conventional intercourse or by semi-controlled methods such as artificial insemination (IUI).
The majority of patients with so-called anovulatory disorders can be treated with ovulation induction. The first noticeable symptom of these disorders is often irregular menstrual cycles (oligomenhorrhoea) or the absence of menstruation (amenorrhoea). These disorders account for about 30% of infertility, but are in the most part relatively simple to treat. Most reasons of anovulation are easy to treat, such as PCOS, which is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. Other treatable causes of anovulatory disorders include disturbances in the hormone production or release from the pituitary gland in the brain.
Sometimes the underlying cause of anovulation can be treated by simple lifestyle modifications such as weight-loss or –gain. In more complex cases of anovulatory infertility we use longstanding and very well tested drugs to modulate hormone levels and action.
Clomiphene has been in clinical use since the sixties and is at present still the first-line choice for treating most anovulatory disorders caused by inappropriate hormone release from the the brain. The drug works by selectively blocking certain estrogen receptors, which tricks the pituitary gland into increasing the release of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) & Luteinizing hormone (LH).
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a natural occurring hormone responsible for stimulating egg cell maturation within the ovaries. By giving injections of synthesized FSH to patients we can replicate the natural stimulation of oocyte maturation, follicle growth and ultimately ovulation.
There are also other medications such as some antidiabetic drugs that may be used in specific cases of anovulatory disease. If these drugs are suitable to treat your condition you will be provided with information about their mechanism of action and their effects by one of our physicians during your visit.
Last updated: 2016-02-15