Ovulation Induction & Intrauterine Insemination
What is Ovulation Induction?
In a natural menstrual cycle a single egg is normally produced and ovulated. Ovulation induction is a technique that uses fertility medications to stimulate the release of one or more eggs from the ovary. Inducing the release of more than one egg can significantly increase the per cycle chance of pregnancy.
How Does Ovulation Induction Work?
Oral Medication for Ovulation Induction Cycle/IUI
This is the most common form of treatment used in women who do not ovulate or who ovulate infrequently. A typical cycle begins with a baseline ultrasound and blood work on day 3 of the menstrual cycle prior to starting oral medications. Clomiphene (Clomid) and Letrozole are oral medications taken on days 3-7 or 5-9 of a menstrual cycle. Your physician will determine which protocol and medication is appropriate. A follow up ultrasound will be performed on day 11 to check for follicular development. Once the lead follicle(s) measure at least 16-18 mm in diameter, you will be instructed to take an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which causes ovulation. The sperm can be introduced into the vagina by intercourse or intrauterine insemination.
Most women do not experience any side effects from the oral medications. Some women may experience transient hot flushes, mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness, pelvic pressure, pain, or nausea. If you experience neurological symptoms such as headaches or visual changes, it is important to notify your provider.
Injectable Medication (Gonadotropin) Cycle/IUI
Injectable gonadotropin (FSH) is another common medication used for ovulation induction. The cycle begins with a baseline ultrasound and blood work on day 3 of the menstrual cycle prior to starting any injectable medication. Injectable medications are started on day3 and are continued for 6 -10 days. During that time you may require 3-4 ultrasounds and blood work to monitor the development and pace of the follicle growth. After each ultrasound you will receive a phone call from the nurses with medication and follow up instructions. Once the lead follicle(s) measure at least 16-18 mm in diameter, you will be instructed to take an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which causes ovulation. Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or intercourse will be performed on the following 2 days after the injection of HCG. The sperm can be introduced to the vagina by intercourse or intrauterine insemination.
Most women do not experience any side effects from the injectable medications. Some patients may have bloating, breast tenderness, and other side effects commonly associated with the oral induction agent.
What is Intrauterine Insemination?
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is an office procedure in which semen is carefully prepared to isolate motile sperm and then placed within the uterus. The technique is used to get a high concentration of sperm in the reproductive tract to increase the chance of sperm reaching and fertilizing the egg. Using a small catheter, the sample is placed in the woman’s uterus. The procedure takes just a few minutes. You can resume daily activities afterwards.
Requirements to undergo insemination include:
- Both patient and patient’s partner virology testing.
- Consent for the procedure which must be signed by one or both partners and witnessed by either our clinic staff