Is conception just not happening no matter how hard you try? Sometimes your body just needs some extra help with ovulation. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, ovulation induction could help you better track your fertility for natural or assisted conception.
Our team of reproductive specialists at University Reproductive Associates helps couples and individuals throughout New Jersey and the greater New York City metro area overcome fertility challenges using methods like ovulation induction.
What happens during ovulation
During a normal menstrual cycle, hormonal changes naturally trigger ovulation. The process starts with an egg-containing follicle growing on your ovary. When the egg is mature, the follicle bursts, releasing the egg into the fallopian tube. The tube is a pathway that the egg travels down to find the uterus. Once the egg reaches the uterus, it either becomes fertilized by sperm or exits the body during menstruation.
If your body doesn’t make the correct hormones in the right amounts, ovulation can happen irregularly or not at all. Fortunately, there are two ways to induce ovulation and get a healthy egg started on the maturation process so it can be released and fertilized.
Two ways to induce ovulation
There are two types of ovulation induction: oral and injectable. No matter the route you choose, our team will detail each step for you and be there to support you along the way.
The process starts with an ultrasound performed three days before your period is expected to begin. Once your period begins, you’ll wait three to five days, then start your medication.
1. Oral medications
Clomiphene (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara) are oral ovulation induction medications. You’ll take it between three and nine days of your menstrual cycle. On day 10 or 11, we can perform a transvaginal ultrasound and look for egg development. From there, we’ll monitor you and let you know when you’re at the optimal time to try to conceive.
2. Injectable medications
If oral medications don’t work for you or aren’t recommended, injectable medications are the next option. Injections of a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are started on day three of your period, and continued as long as 10 days, although they may be stopped sooner if the follicle ripens quickly.
As with oral medication induction, we’ll perform ultrasounds every few days and blood work to monitor your progress. Once at least one follicle measures 16-18 millimeters minimum in diameter, it’s time for an additional injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to trigger ovulation.
Once ovulation has been achieved by either method, you can have intercourse or come in for intrauterine insemination (IUI). Induced ovulation has a 20% to 25% success rate — almost exactly the success rate of any person with no fertility challenges.
Are you having trouble conceiving? Do you suspect an ovulation issue is to blame? Get in touch with the team at URA by calling 201-288-6330, or visit the contact page for more information.