Ovulation induction involves stimulating the ovary to produce one or more eggs. It may be accomplished with several different medications.
The failure to have any ovulatory cycles (anovulation) or to have only very irregular ovulatory cycles (oligoovulation) are among the most common causes of infertility. The causes of these types of ovulatory disorders are quite diverse, and may include problems with the central nervous system or pituitary gland, problems within the developing follicles or ovary, or both.
Most of the approaches to treatment focus on raising FSH levels to the point where follicular growth and development resumes, ultimately resulting in the release of a healthy mature egg (ovulation).
Ovulation induction is a safe and effective means of restoring fertility in many women who do not ovulate or who ovulate rarely. Additionally, it may be used to induce the development and release of multiple eggs in ovulatory women undergoing various other infertility treatments. Careful selection of treatment regimens combined with appropriate levels of monitoring may result in excellent outcomes.
A thorough understanding of the nature of ovulation induction may be very helpful for patients, and requires knowledge of the basics of ovarian function, the indications for ovulation induction, how the medications work to induce ovulation, the anticipated benefits and pregnancy rates, and the potential side effects.
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