Ovulation Induction

 is the stimulation of ovulation by medication. It is usually used in the sense of stimulation of the development of ovarian follicles to reverse anovulation or oligoovulation, but can also be used in the sense of triggering oocyte release from relatively mature ovarian follicles.

The second use of ovulation induction was to increase the number of eggs reaching maturity in a single cycle, to increase chances for conception. The initial agents for this treatment - used first for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and only later for simpler treatments - were injectable medications. These agents carry an increased risk of multiple gestation, ovarian hyperstimulation, and increased cost and time commitment.

 

More recently, in the mid-90s, evidence developed to suggest there may be an advantage to treating even ovulatory women with fertility medications. These women with "unexplained infertility" may have subtle defects in ovulation, and medications may induce two to three eggs to mature, versus only one. However, for IVF medications dosage arranged to produce 7-8 eggs, this treatment therefore improves the quality and quantity of the ovulation, thus enhancing pregnancy rates.

 

In ovulatory women, ovulation induction is sometimes  combined with intrauterine insemination. Ovulation induction should progress only after a complete and thorough evaluation. All underlying hormonal disorders, such as thyroid dysfunction, should be treated before resorting to ovulation induction with fertility drugs.