Sometimes women don't ovulate, and in other cases, they may ovulate irregularly. Regular ovulation is necessary for pregnancy to happen. In many cases, there is no explanation for ovulation failure. What’s important is that you’re evaluated thoroughly so that you can discuss available treatment options.
Ovulation induction uses hormone therapy to treat women who have ovulation problems. The process involves taking hormonal medication that stimulates the ovaries to be able to produce an egg.
If you're having trouble getting pregnant because of ovulation issues, your provider may recommend ovulation induction to help you conceive. A diagnosis of infertility can lead you feeling emotional and overwhelmed, but treatments are available to help you achieve your goal of having a child.
Leading fertility specialist and fertility preservation expert Kutluk Oktay, MD, has extensive experience helping couples and individuals diagnosed with infertility conceive. In this post, we provide detailed information about ovulation induction and who can benefit from this treatment.
Ovulation and infertility
A diagnosis of infertility is made when you’ve tried to conceive for 12 months without success. Ovulation is the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle. This is when you release a mature egg to prepare the uterus to nurture an embryo.
Successful pregnancy is dependent on releasing a healthy egg capable of being fertilized by healthy sperm. Pregnancy is compromised when you don't release a mature egg.
In most cases, hormonal disruption is responsible for ovulation problems. Irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, and excess androgens are associated with an increased risk of infertility.
What is ovulation induction?
Once your provider has established that there is an ovulation problem, your provider will discuss treatments that can help restore your fertility. The goal is to get you ovulating normally again so that you can conceive.
Ovulation induction involves taking fertility medication, either in the form of oral tablets, or injections, to promote the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). You take the medication at the beginning of your menstrual cycle.
What is ovulation induction like?
You can expect to start taking medication around day four of your cycle. Around day 10, you can expect to have a blood test to determine your hormone levels, and on day 14, your provider will perform an ultrasound to determine whether you're ovulating.
Your provider monitors you throughout your cycle and gives you a guide for treatment timing. The ultrasound and blood tests provide a clear picture of what's happening in your ovaries. Blood is drawn every few days to monitor your response.
These regular blood tests also help to prevent overstimulation and reduce the chances of multiple pregnancy. Results from your blood tests will determine the dose of medication to be taken the next day.
The use of ultrasound provides an actual image of the ovaries and enables Dr. Oktay to regularly monitor follicle growth. As follicles mature, they get larger. Through ultrasound, Dr. Oktay can observe the effects of treatment on follicle growth.
Who should consider ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is a good choice for anyone with problems ovulating. You should discuss this option with your provider once it's determined that you aren’t ovulating. Some conditions that can lead to ovulation failure include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Insulin resistance
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Diminished ovarian reserve
- Unexplained infertility
Sometimes a doctor cannot find the exact cause of an ovarian disorder. In these cases, ovulation induction may help to conceive. Ovulation induction is also a good option for women who ovulate but do so less frequently than they should. Ovulation induction can help restore normal ovulation so that your chances of conceiving increase.
Restoring ovulation with ovulation induction
You should see an ovulation specialist right away if you have trouble getting pregnant.
Your provider can perform a comprehensive diagnostic workup. This includes checking your hormone levels to see if your body is producing the right amount of hormones at the right time.
It also helps to track your cycle and take your temperature each morning. This can help give your provider a clue as to what may be going on. If Dr. Oktay determines that you aren’t ovulating or you aren’t ovulating regularly, he may perform additional tests.
If you’re struggling to get pregnant, reach out to the team at Innovation Fertility Preservation & IVF for expert treatment and customized care. Call 877-492-3666 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Oktay, or use our online booking form to send your request.