Ovarian Stimulation Can Be an Effective Treatment for Female Infertility
Sometimes, getting pregnant and building the family you desire takes longer than expected. Once you decide to pursue infertility treatment, our Nashville fertility doctors will perform the necessary testing and then recommend the best options. When we determine that female infertility is present, our physicians may recommend ovarian stimulation as part of the treatment process.
The basics of female ovulation
After a woman goes through puberty, the reproductive organs mature, and regular menstruation begins. During a routine monthly cycle, the ovaries release one egg for potential fertilization. If conception does not happen, the uterine lining sloughs off, and a period follows. In many cases, women experiencing female infertility do not ovulate regularly, making pregnancy without assistance difficult. Ovulation stimulation provides help in these situations.
How ovarian stimulation works
Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur. As part of many infertility treatments, our Nashville fertility doctors will begin ovarian stimulation to induce ovulation and increase the number of eggs produced in the ovaries. Although multiple eggs can be released, singleton pregnancies are most common, even with medication. Several medication options are available, depending on the treatment course and your female infertility diagnosis.
- Oral medications – In some cases, medicines such as Clomid or Femara are taken for about five days to stimulate ovulation. This approach can be combined with timed intercourse and/or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Typically, we will monitor the development of follicles on the ovaries to reduce the risk of multiples.
- Injectable medications – For patients who don’t respond to oral medications, or for those pursuing IVF, we prescribe injectable fertility medicines such as Follistim and Gonal F. Depending on the individual response, patients will take the injectables for about seven to 10 days. Throughout the process, we monitor our patients with blood tests and ultrasound.
Understanding the risks with ovarian stimulation
One of the concerns associated with stimulation, especially with use of injectable medicines, is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). With ovarian hyperstimulation, severe swelling and pain often develop. Signs of OHSS include bloating, nausea, pain and vomiting. Make sure to let your doctor know if you experience any unusual symptoms.
The steps involved during infertility treatment may seem overwhelming and complex. Our Nashville fertility center doctors can provide a detailed explanation of ovarian stimulation and answer any questions that arise. Contact our office for more information about female infertility or to make an appointment.
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