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Ovulation Induction treatment – using fertility drugs to help stimulate ovulation

Ovulation Induction treatment – using fertility drugs to help stimulate ovulation

A woman in her child bearing years will ovulate every month, which means that each month a mature egg will be released from an ovary, generally about 14 days before the next period is due. However, in a third of women who haven’t conceived after a year of trying, the ovaries may not be releasing an egg consistently, which means there is nothing for the sperm to fertilise. This difficulty to ovulate can present itself in a few ways including through absent or irregular periods, and may be due to a number of reasons including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Ovulation Induction (OI) treatment involves using fertility drugs to help stimulate ovulation.

If you’re not getting periods, or if they are irregular, medication may be prescribed to bring on a period. Once day 1 of your period has been confirmed, treatment will start with the oral medication Letrozole to help you produce more of the hormones needed to stimulate the ovaries to develop eggs and to help ovulation by stopping the effects of oestrogen on the brain, which in turns encourages it to release the body’s egg (follicle stimulating hormone commonly referred to as FSH).

The Letrozole tablets are taken for 5 days, usually from day 2 to day 6 after the start of the period.  A few days after the course of tablets is complete, you will have a blood test and ultrasound to check how the ovaries have responded to the medication. When we see on the ultrasound that there are 1 or 2 follicles that are likely to contain a mature egg, you will self administer  a ‘Trigger’ injection to mature and release the egg/eggs. I will then advise you to have sex on that day and over the next couple of days.  A blood test is done in the middle of the second half of the cycle to check that ovulation has occurred and you will then have a pregnancy blood test about 16 days after ovulation.

If your body does not respond adequately to the oral medication we can move to treatment with injections of FSH to directly stimulate the growth of the follicles. The monitoring of FSH stimulation cycles is similar with blood tests and an ultrasound to determine when to have the Trigger injection. Most women find it quite simple to manage the treatment and can easily self administer the injections required. My fertility nurses are always available to guide you through the detail and answer any questions you may have.

A woman in her child bearing years will ovulate every month, which means that each month a mature egg will be released from an ovary, generally about 14 days before the next period is due. However, in a third of women who haven’t conceived after a year of trying, the ovaries may not be releasing an egg consistently, which means there is nothing for the sperm to fertilise. This difficulty to ovulate can present itself in a few ways including through absent or irregular periods, and may be due to a number of reasons including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Ovulation Induction (OI) treatment involves using fertility drugs to help stimulate ovulation.

If you’re not getting periods, or if they are irregular, medication may be prescribed to bring on a period. Once day 1 of your period has been confirmed, treatment will start with the oral medication Letrozole to help you produce more of the hormones needed to stimulate the ovaries to develop eggs and to help ovulation by stopping the effects of oestrogen on the brain, which in turns encourages it to release the body’s egg (follicle stimulating hormone commonly referred to as FSH).

The Letrozole tablets are taken for 5 days, usually from day 2 to day 6 after the start of the period.  A few days after the course of tablets is complete, you will have a blood test and ultrasound to check how the ovaries have responded to the medication. When we see on the ultrasound that there are 1 or 2 follicles that are likely to contain a mature egg, you will self administer  a ‘Trigger’ injection to mature and release the egg/eggs. I will then advise you to have sex on that day and over the next couple of days.  A blood test is done in the middle of the second half of the cycle to check that ovulation has occurred and you will then have a pregnancy blood test about 16 days after ovulation.

If your body does not respond adequately to the oral medication we can move to treatment with injections of FSH to directly stimulate the growth of the follicles. The monitoring of FSH stimulation cycles is similar with blood tests and an ultrasound to determine when to have the Trigger injection. Most women find it quite simple to manage the treatment and can easily self administer the injections required. My fertility nurses are always available to guide you through the detail and answer any questions you may have.