If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, ovulation induction can be a great way to stimulate the release of eggs, increasing your chances of conceiving. For many women, it is the first step to overcoming infertility. If you have doubts or concerns about the side effects of these medications, discussing them beforehand can ease your mind before you begin treatment.
Our team of reproductive specialists at University Reproductive Associates, located in Hasbrouck Heights, Hoboken, and Wayne, New Jersey, provides a variety of fertility treatments, including medication to support ovulation induction.
How ovulation induction works
If you’re considering fertility medication, there’s a good chance you’ve already researched infertility. Ovulation induction is the first step in many people’s fertility treatments, particularly those who have had challenges producing eggs.
The induction process is rather simple. Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) are administered to stimulate the ovaries. That increases the chances of an egg (or multiple) being released, boosting the likelihood of conception.
In many cases, ovulation induction is combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI). To reach the egg(s), sperm swim through the cervix and uterus. If the cervical mucus is too thick or the sperm is too slow, they miss their mark and fail to fertilize.
IUI solves this problem by placing sperm (from a donor or partner) directly into the uterus during ovulation, which greatly improves the chances of conception.
What to expect
When weighing fertility options, side effects and safety should be at the forefront of your mind. That is why it’s essential to find a specialist that respects your boundaries and addresses your concerns. Fertility medications can have some side effects, notably mood swings and nausea, but there are ways to mitigate them.
During ovulation induction, you may take your fertility medication one of two ways. Oral medications, like clomiphene citrate, tamoxifen, and letrozole, can trick your brain and temporarily increase your FSH levels. Alternatively, injections containing synthesized hormones work directly on the body.
A hormonal reaction to FSH medications is normal. You might experience the following side effects:
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Pelvic pressure
- Mood swings
There is also a chance of conceiving multiples while on fertility medication. Oral medication places this likelihood at 5-10%, while injectables increase it to 20%. If you want to avoid multiple births, our team will carefully monitor your dosage and response to reduce the chances.
In the days following your treatment, periodic ultrasounds and FSH tests are performed to monitor your progress. When the egg is mature, intrauterine insemination is performed to try to fertilize it.
Considering fertility treatment? Schedule a consultation with the team at University Reproductive Associates to learn more and begin planning your family. Call the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.