Ovulation Induction (OI)

Definition - What does Ovulation Induction (OI) mean?

Ovulation induction (OI) refers to a procedure that increases the production and or release of fully matured eggs from the uterus. OI is used among individuals who struggle to ovulate normally, resulting in complications becoming pregnant. The procedure is facilitated through the usage of hormonal medication, most frequently called “fertility drugs.” Following OI, sexual intercourse timed with the expected ovulation, artificial insemination, or egg retrieval as a component of in vitro fertilization, may be pursued in order to become pregnant.

FertilitySmarts explains Ovulation Induction (OI)

Ovulation induction is required when a woman is not producing healthy, mature eggs on a regular, monthly basis in conjunction with the menstrual cycle.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), irregular weight loss or weight gain, and stress are known causes of impaired ovulation. Other conditions, such as thyroid gland disorders, pituitary gland complications, or hormonal imbalances may also be factors. Additionally, menopause impacts the quality and quantity of viable eggs produced.

There are a variety of medications that address OI, several of the most common including the following:

  • Clomiphene citrate, known as Clomid or Serophene, is taken to address ovulation in people with infrequent or abnormal menstrual cycles.
  • Synthetic Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), is medication that stimulates the release of mature eggs from the ovaries through injection. Drugs include Ovidrel, Pregnyl, Profasi, and Novarel.
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is used to initiate follicle growth in the ovaries for the development of eggs. Medication names include Bravelle, Gonal-F, and Follistim.
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropins (hMG) is a hormonal medication that causes the production of multiple eggs at once. It is administered via injection, and includes medications Menopur and Repronex.

Throughout the course of OI medications, a physician, via blood tests and ultrasound scans, monitors the body’s response to the medication. The physician watches for follicle development in the ovaries, indicating healthy egg development, and thickness of the lining in the uterus. When appropriate, the physician will advise on the most opportune time to pursue sexual intercourse, insemination, or schedule an egg retrieval, based on the individual’s decided course of treatment.

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