Ovulation Induction (OI) may be recommended for women who rarely or never ovulate but have normal tubes and have a partner with a normal semen analysis. OI may also be used for women who do ovulate regularly for the purpose of increasing the chance of pregnancy by increasing the number of follicles that develop fully and therefore the number of eggs that are ovulated during a cycle.
There are two methods that can be used to stimulate ovulation: fertility tablets (clomiphene citrate) or injections of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
A hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which stimulates the production of eggs (oocytes) in the ovary is secreted from the pituitary gland in the brain. Injections of FSH will be administered on a daily basis by using an injection pen into the fatty tissue in the abdominal wall. FSH stimulates the development of follicle or follicles in the ovary which contain the developing eggs. The progress of the developing follicles is monitored by measuring the oestrogen hormone they produce using blood tests, and through watching them grow during ultrasound examination. Depending on the response, the dose of FSH can be adjusted with a small increase every seven to ten days.
The goal is to stimulate preferably one or two and a maximum of three ripe follicles. When the size of the follicle and the oestrogen level suggests that the follicle is ripe, another hormone is administered which releases the egg (ovulation). The couple then need to have intercourse around this time.