What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization is a process measured in cycles, with an average round being 4-6 weeks. Similar to a woman’s natural menstrual cycle, the fertility treatment is timed to coincide with key moments that would typically occur. Women will most likely be prescribed birth control or estrogen to regulate the cycle for better outcomes. Ovarian stimulation is a hallmark step, followed by egg and sperm retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer.
Ovulation induction explained
Simply put, ovulation induction includes taking hormones to boost follicular stimulation in the ovaries. The process ensures that a woman releases multiple mature eggs rather than relying on a single egg for fertilization, as with natural ovulation. In many cases, even women with otherwise healthy ovaries will receive induction treatment for several reasons.
1. Overcome unexplained infertility
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is made when no known underlying cause can be found to justify why an individual or couple can’t conceive. Ovulation induction often works by compensating for minor ovulatory defects that might otherwise prevent a single egg from being released. Having multiple eggs to fertilize gives a couple more options and can help boost conception odds.
2. Combating irregular ovulation
For women with conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irregular periods can make ovulation unpredictable. By opting for induction, specialists can better track when ovulation can occur to schedule egg retrieval at the optimal time.
3. Countering diminished ovarian reserve
Women with diminished ovarian reserve have fewer eggs left in the ovaries and a decreased chance of pregnancy. Common causes can be advanced maternal age, genetic abnormalities, a history of smoking, or even previous medical treatments like surgeries or chemotherapy that can alter ovarian reserve. Ovulation induction can temporarily increase the number of eggs released during a single cycle to improve the chance of pregnancy.
Improving conception odds
There are several reasons why a woman should consider ovulation induction. With this process, more eggs can be produced and retrieved, increasing the likelihood that IVF will result in a successful pregnancy. The fertility doctor will assess a patient’s age, infertility diagnosis, and overall health before determining whether ovulation induction is the right approach.