Ovulation Induction

One of the common reasons as to why couples do not conceive is due to the fact that the female partner is not ovulating. Generally, this can often be remedied using fertility tablets, which are easily prescribed. But there are some women, who need to use hormone injections and this process is called Ovulation Induction (OI).

The primary function of this hormone is to stimulate production of eggs in the ovary. It is secreted from a part of the brain called as the pituitary gland and the name of the hormone is Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Yes, you have guessed it right; it is FSH that is generally administered on a daily basis into the fatty tissue, when OI is used. Once the hormone is injected, it facilitates a response, which triggers the development of the follicles in the ovary. With the help of the estrogen hormone produced by blood tests, the progress of the developing follicles is monitored. The dose of the FSH is then adjusted with a small increase every seven to ten days, which is in line with the response.

The main aim of this is to stimulate preferably a maximum of three ripe follicles, which will help the mother conceive. Once the follicle is ripe, another hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) is administered, which releases the egg. With this, the work of the couple is simplified as all they have to do is to have intercourse around the time of ovulation.

The main risk is the production of too many follicles. When this is the case, the whole process is aborted and the cycle is started again. If, after the first cycle there was ovulation but no conception, the cycle is repeated, whilst the dose of FSH is kept lower for longer.

Generally, over 80% of the women who undergo OI have a successful pregnancy within six cycles. On rare occasions, there are other fertility abnormalities which dictate that they move onto IVF.