Ovulation induction is a process where hormone supplements are used to stimulate egg development and release. Fertility drugs for ovulation induction are designed for women who do not ovulate on their own, such as women with irregular menstrual cycles. The goals of ovulation induction at the top Los Angeles fertility clinics are to produce a single, healthy egg, and to increase the number of eggs reaching maturity during one cycle.
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from one of the woman’s ovaries. Normally, ovulation occurs every 28 days. While ovulation usually occurs 14 days from the start of the menstrual period, the timing varies from woman to woman. Anovulation is the inability to ovulate.
Agents for Inducing Ovulation
Fertility medications are used at Irvine fertility centers to induce two to three eggs to mature to improve the quantity and quality of ovulation. Ovulation induction always involves intrauterine insemination to improve pregnancy rates. The following are ovulation induction medications:
- Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) – This is an oral medication that blocks estrogen receptors to induce ovulation. Producing an artificial anti-estrogen effect, Clomid makes your body believe that estrogen levels are low, which stimulates the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). By inducing superovulation, multiple eggs are released during a menstrual cycle. When taking Clomid, you must be monitored using blood estrogen levels, luteinizing hormone (LH) testing, and ultrasounds.
- Human Menopausal Gonadotropin – Humegon, Pergonal, and Repronex are all forms of human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG). These medications are composed of LH and FSH. Women who need hMG include those who do not ovulate regularly, those who ovulate spontaneously, and those who need to increase the number of eggs in a single cycle. Because the effects of these drugs vary from woman to woman, there is no fixed dosage. This medication is used in combination with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). To monitor response, ultrasounds and blood estrogen measurements are used. hMG is only available in injectable form, and it must be self-administered at home.
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone – Bravelle, Follistim, and Gonal-F are medications used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs during one ovulation induction cycle. FSH products can be used alone or in combination with hMG agents. No fixed dosage is recommended, as results vary from client to client. FSH is only available in injectable form for home administration.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) – Pregnyl, Profasi, and Ovidrel are forms of hCG, which is a natural hormone in the human body. These agents help with the final maturation stage of eggs, and they also trigger the ovaries to release mature eggs. hCG stimulates the corpus luteum (ovary component) to secrete the hormone progesterone, which thickens and prepares the uterus lining (endometrium) to receive the fertilized egg. Ovulation typically occurs 36 hours after a self-administered injection of hCG.
- Leuprolide and Synthetic Gonadotropin Inhibitor – Leuprolide (Lupron) suppresses the brains secretion of LH and FSH. This self-administered injectable agent is used to before giving ovulation induction drugs. Lupron improves the recruitment of follicles by preventing a dominant follicle from forming. This FSH/LH inhibitor prevents premature ovulation by inhibiting LH release. For confirmation of Lupron effectiveness, blood estrogen levels and ultrasounds are done.
Candidates for Ovulation Induction
Women who are 38 years of age or older should not have ovulation induction. These medications are not recommended for women with severe endometriosis, tubal damage, or tubal blockage. Ovulation induction is used for women who:
- Have unexplained infertility
- Are not spontaneously ovulating
- Have long, infrequent, and/or irregular cycles
- Have a male partner with no fertility issues
Pacific Reproductive Center offers the top fertility clinics in Los Angeles, Glendale, Corona and Irvine. This includes ovulation induction, IVF, egg freezing, egg donation, ICSI and more! Call us today for the best treatment options.