What is Ovulation Induction?
Ovulation Induction (O.I.) is one of the largest assisted reproduction programs offered at Galway Fertility Clinic. Many clients attending the clinic will begin treatment using ovulation induction treatment. It is a simple treatment and is carried out monthly, over three to four cycle’s.
Specialised medication (in the form of tablets or self-injections) is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Another medication is used to trigger release of the egg (ovulation) at the optimum time.
This treatment maximises the chance of pregnancy occurring, as both the egg(s) and sperm are in the reproductive tract at the same time.
Ovulation Induction is offered to clients after their initial assessment, if there is no significant factor affecting fertility has been identified. There is a relatively low cost associated with this treatment and can save some clients the expense associated with IVF.
What does Ovulation Induction involve?
With Ovulation Induction, medication is used to stimulate the ovaries of the female partner to produce one or more follicles (which should each contain an egg) each month. The drugs are taken from early in the menstrual cycle. An ultrasound scan is then performed trans-vaginally, usually day 10 or 12 of the menstrual cycle to assess the response of the ovaries to treatment.
If the ovaries have responded well to the medication on the day of the ultrasound scan, another drug, HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) is used to time ovulation and intercourse is advised.
If the ovaries have not responded well, more stimulation may be needed and a repeat scan is arranged to reassess the response.
Treatment may be cancelled if:
(a) There is no response to the medication or
(b) If the ovaries have over responded, as in produced more than 3 follicles, which would give rise to the risk of more than triplets. In this case you will be advised to use contraception or to abstain from intercourse until your next period. The medication dose is reduced for the next cycle of treatment.
Types of Ovulation Induction treatment available:
There are various treatment programs available. Your consultant will assess which treatment option is appropriate for you.
Timed Sexual Intercourse (T.S.I.)
Ultrasound scans are used to determine the best time for ovulation to occur and intercourse is advised around this time to optimise your chance of conceiving.
Artificial Insemination Husband (AIH)
This process is usually recommended for clients who have difficulty with intercourse. Again ultrasound scans are used to determine the best time for ovulation to occur therefore optimising your chance of conceiving. With AIH, a fine catheter and/or syringe is provided to inject the sperm into the vagina at home.
What is the Success rate for Ovulation Induction Treatments?
We have an average positive pregnancy rate of 20% over three cycles of treatment.
Chances of a successful outcome depend primarily on the woman’s age, declining significantly after 41 years. If you are not successful after 3 or 4 cycles of treatment, the consultant will discuss further testing and/or progressing to an alternative treatment.