Definition - What does Ovulation Medication mean?
Ovulation medication is any medication that is used to stimulate the ovaries to release one or more egg. Medications that induce ovulation can be used by women with irregular ovulation, known as anovulation, in combination with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or timed intercourse to improve chances of achieving pregnancy. Additionally, these medications can be used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), where retrieving multiple eggs increase the chances of success.
There are multiple types of ovulation medication, which can be in an oral pill form or in an injectable form. Common medications include Clomid (clomiphene citrate), Letrozole, metformin, (used to treat PCOS) and gonadotropins. Approximately 25% of women who experience issues with infertility have ovulation-related difficulties.
FertilitySmarts explains Ovulation Medication
The menstrual cycle is controlled by several hormones that are made in the hypothalamus gland, pituitary gland, and the ovaries. Abnormalities in menstrual and ovulatory cycles can occur in any of these areas, leading to infertility. Ovulation medications either directly supply hormones or stimulate either the ovaries or pituitary gland to secrete appropriate hormones. The medication is working to stimulate the ovaries to release follicles that will mature into eggs to be ovulated or retrieved. Commonly, ovulation medication leads to an increased number of follicles and the likelihood that more than one egg will be ovulated. This is also the reason for an increased number of multiple births with ovulation medication, as women typically only ovulate a single egg each month.