Pregnancy can be hard to achieve for numerous reasons, although assisted human reproductive treatments are adjusted to the personal circumstances of each patient in order to solve potential infertility in the least invasive manner. It is, however, not always necessary to go through an entire process, but rather enact a particular stage of treatment. The aforementioned applies to induced ovulation.
Also referred to as superovulation, this is treatment is used among women who suffer from anovulation or irregular ovulation. Induced ovulation ensures the production and maturation of eggs, as well as controlling the dates in which they materialise, and is a procedure included as part of all assisted human reproduction techniques.
It can also be used independently, while it is also common to combine induced ovulation with artificial insemination. The formula behind the reproductive technique is effective and adjusted to your needs!
What is Ovulation Induction?
This is probably one of the treatments in reproductive medicine which best imitates the “natural” mechanism of fertilisation. A large part of this procedure focuses on control and awareness of when ovulation has taken place. It can also provide pharmacological help to stimulate the ovaries. Finally, fertilisation at the optimum time is all that is required for success.
Induced ovulation involves prior hormone medication and ultrasound scans to confirm eggs are of the desired size. Ovulation is then induced and fertilisation at a later date is scheduled.
It is important to distinguish between induced ovulation and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, although the line between the two treatments is very fine. The objective is to stimulate normal ovulation among women diagnosed with ovarian dysfunction. While hyperstimulation is also used to increase the production of eggs and ensure healthy ovulation.
A prior study and diagnosis are a requisite beforehand to confirm infertility is due to a failure in ovulation. A complete gynaecological examination is necessary and, in some cases, certain complementary tests to rule out other possible causes of sterility.
How is induced ovulation performed?
Induced ovulation is a simple procedure which consists of hormone treatment via either intramuscularly or subcutaneously administered injections. Medication can be taken from the comfort of home, while clinical visitation is only necessary for relevant ultrasound checks.
The duration of treatment varies because it is conditioned by the response of the individual. Although natural menstruation is respected in such approaches, the aim is to control it and it not usual for cycles to move between nine and 16 days from the first day of menstruation. Some women take up to three weeks to respond, so don’t worry about any delay!
Who is Ovulation Induction suitable for?
Pregnancy is impossible without healthy and viable eggs. Induced ovulation is a method designed for cases of infertility where aforementioned eggs are not produced, and above all, for women who do not ovulate naturally even if ovaries have the capacity to do so, or in other words, an insufficient ovarian reserve.
The inability or irregularity of ovulation can be caused by various medical issues and can include: the mechanism by which the brain communicates ovulation is no longer functioning or ovaries are unable respond to stimuli sent from the hypothalamus. If prior testing reveals ovaries are able to ovulate, then induced ovulation fabricates such stimulation via medication.
The two basic assumptions for which this technique is ideal for:
- Women who suffer from infertility by anovulation and amenorrhea
- Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Egg donors can also used and this procedure is often included as part of artificial inseminations and in vitro fertilisations.
The Induced ovulation process
After consultation and prior exploration to confirm viability for induced ovulation, the process commences at the first day of menstruation and consists of five phases:
1. Stimulate egg maturation
Two hormones present in a natural menstrual cycle, folitropin (FSH) and lutropin (LH), are administered. Depending on low or high-complexity cases within such classification used in assisted human reproduction treatments, a higher or lower dosage will be administered. While rare, it may not be necessary to undergo medication as this phase is limited to controlling and determining the exact moment follicles mature and are correctly sized. The primary phases of induced ovulation culminate with a vaginal ultrasound scan.
2. Induced ovulation
When eggs are found to be 18 mm or larger, an injection of HCG – the hormone that triggers ovulation – is administered.
Calculated and programmed, fertilisation normally takes place 36-40 hours after you have taken HCG. According to the circumstances of your case, there are three options: artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation or conventional sexual relations.
4. Endometrium preparation
To increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to administer supportive treatments via an additional two doses of HCG or progesterone vaginally.
5. Pregnancy test
¡El gran momento! Te confirman que hay embarazo o, si los resultados son negativos, puedes volver a intentar una inducción a la ovulación en pocas semanas.
The big moment! A positive or negative pregnancy test result. Should the outcome be the latter, induced ovulation can be attempted once again in a few weeks.
It’s not always necessary to go to an assisted human reproduction clinic to undergo complex treatment, but should the case in question be well defined, it is important act upon the problem with trained specialists. Induced ovulation is an example of controlled medication and careful supervision making the journey towards a maternity ward all the more smooth – let the specialists advise you!