The health of all our patients, staff, and community is our top priority | The latest COVID-19 update.

Four Medicines for Ovulation Induction

Ovulation is an essential first step to conceiving and delivering a healthy baby. Without the presence of a mature egg in a fallopian tube, sperm have nothing to fertilize. Even if you opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted-reproductive technology (ART), conception starts with ovulation.

But what if you don’t ovulate? Or you ovulate so irregularly that you can’t time intercourse to match the release of a mature egg? 

Our OC Fertility experts, Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev, help your eggs along with ovulation-induction medications. Here’s a breakdown of the drugs that help you ovulate, so you can decide with your OB/GYN which is best for you.

Oral Ovulation Induction

Oral ovulation induction comes in the form of pills or tablets that you take by mouth. The timing of the medications is important, so it may help to schedule it at the same time every day. 

Your doctor will choose from:

Clomiphene Citrate

Clomiphene is a chemical whose actions are similar to those of the hormone estrogen, which stimulates your ovaries to ripen and release an egg each month. You usually take it for five days, starting about the third  day of your menstrual cycle. Brand names include Clomid®, Milophene®, and Serophene®.

As with all medications, clomiphene may have side effects in about 20%, including upset stomach, headache, and hot flashes. You shouldn’t use clomiphene for more than six cycles to reduce the risk of complications, such as increased risk for ovarian cancer.

Letrozole

Letrozole is a drug that was originally used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women because it lowers the production of estrogen. However, letrozole also induces ovulation in women during their reproductive years. 

Research suggests that letrozole is more effective at inducing ovulation in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) than clomiphene. Letrozole actually inhibits the production of estrogen. When estrogen levels drop, your pituitary gland releases gonadotropins (FSH and LH) that signal your ovaries to ovulate .

At least one study showed that women who took letrozole were more likely to get pregnant and have a live birth than those who took clomiphene. Brand names for letrozole include Femara®.

Injectable ovulation induction

If oral medications didn’t work for you, we also offer injectable ovulation induction. Some formulations contain all of the hormones you need in one shot, or we may combine shots. We teach you how to self-administer these drugs in the safety and comfort of your own home.

Follicle-stimulating hormone 

Your pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones help your eggs ripen and release. If you’re low on FSH and LH, an injection can help you ovulate normally.

The exact dose of FSH that you need depends on your natural levels. You inject the prescribed drug under your skin for about five days. The FSH tells the follicles (i.e. shells) that encase your eggs to grow, ripen, and release.

After five days, we may adjust your dosage. You don’t use FSH for more than 20 days.

Human menopausal gonadotropin 

Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) injectables include both FSH and LH. While FSH stimulates egg release and ripening, LH gives a growth burst to mature eggs.

The hMG is derived from the urine of postmenopausal women. Your doctor monitors your hormone levels to determine the best time for your hMG injection. 

Once you receive an hMG injection, you usually ovulate within the next 36 hours. Your doctor lets you know how to time intercourse to make the most of the egg’s release and journey down your tubes.

If you’ve been having trouble getting pregnant, or if you’re already interested in ART, find out more about if you’d benefit from ovulation-induction therapy. Contact us today by calling our friendly staff at 949-706-2229. Or, simply book an appointment on our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are There Downsides or Risks to Egg Freezing?

The upside to egg freezing is pretty awesome: You preserve your youthful eggs while you’re still fertile. Then, when you’re ready for a baby, your eggs are ready for you — no matter how old you are. But is there a downside?

When To Seek Help If You’re Not Getting Pregnant

It’s not always clear as to when the 'right' time to check in with a doctor about trying to get pregnant is.  Here, we cover the textbook answers, as well as the reality of when it may be helpful to seek expert advice.

6 Potential Causes of Infertility

You always thought it was a simple thing to have a baby. In fact, you spent a lot more time preventing unwanted pregnancies than you did considering infertility. But now either you or your partner is infertile. Why? And what can you do about it?

Effective Pregnancy Options for Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex and LGBTQIA+ couples can have their own biological children, thanks to assisted-reproductive technologies (ART). If you and your partner yearn to create a family with DNA from one or both of you, you have a variety of options.

5 Benefits of Gestational Surrogacy

You’ve always dreamed of having your own baby but, medically speaking, that now seems impossible. Either you don’t have a uterus, or you can’t or don’t want to carry a child to term. Gestational surrogacy could make your impossible dream possible.