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A woman with ovulatory issues may be given clomiphene citrate to help her produce one or more eggs. Ultrasound scans can then show if the ovaries are responding.
The ovaries can be induced by hormonal therapy to stimulate egg development and release, or ovulation. These drugs can help women who do not ovulate on their own, typically women with irregular menstrual cycles. The drugs can also help increase the number of eggs that mature in a single cycle, in order to increase the chances of conceiving.
Ovulation induction should only happen after a complete and thorough evaluation of the women’s health, including treatment of any hormonal disorders.
Some common fertility drugs used for ovulation induction include:
- Clomiphene Citrate
- Clomiphene citrate acts as a fertility agent in women by inducing ovulation — the release of an egg in a menstrual cycle.
- Human Menopausal Gonadotropin
- Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) is an injectable medication used to stimulate egg development in women who do not ovulate spontaneously or who ovulate extremely irregularly, or to increase the number of eggs developed in a single cycle in women who already ovulate. This is generally considered as a stronger superovulation agent than oral medications. This medication can be used with both intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Recombinant Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- FSH is an injectable medication used to stimulate the recruitment and development of multiple eggs in women, and this can be used alone or in combination with human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) to induce superovulation.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a natural hormone injection that helps with the final maturation of the eggs and triggers the ovaries to ovulate, or release the mature eggs. It also stimulates the corpus luteum to secrete progesterone to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg. Ovulation usually occurs about 36 hours after the hCG is given.
For the injectable medicines, ultrasounds and blood estrogen level tests are recommended to assess ovarian response and to minimize the risk of complications. Urinary leutinizing hormone (LH) testing may be required as well for some medications.
These injections are to be administered daily by the patient or her caregiver. The dosage and duration of the injections vary with individual’s response to the medication.
If there are eggs which are suitable for ovulation, the following procedures can facilitate fertilization: