Ovulation Induction (OI), also referred to as Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH), is often one of the first treatments recommended to patients and couples with fertility issues. Ovulation Induction is the use of fertility medications to help stimulate the recruitment of egg(s) development and/or trigger ovulation. These medications can either be given orally (by mouth) or by injection. Pelvic ultrasound scans and blood tests to measure hormone levels assist with monitoring egg(s) development to determine when one is most fertile and likely to ovulate. Assisted reproduction technology (ART) procedures, including IUI and IVF, utilize ovulation induction.
The aim of OI (oral or injected) is to produce multiple eggs. Oral fertility medications can result in an increased rate of multiple births to approximately 1 in 10 as compared to 1 in 90 for natural conception. In contrast, injected fertility medications may increase multiple births to approximately 1 in 5. The majority of these pregnancies are twins, but 5 to 10 percent can be triplets or more, referred to as Higher Order Multiples. We are very careful in using these medications to minimize the incidence of multiple births.
Types of Medication
The chart below lists common medications prescribed for fertility treatments. Each patient and couple is unique, therefore, our physicians will customize and tailor treatment plans and prescribed medications to fit the needs specifically for that individual patient or couple. In addition, our physicians and staff will provide a comprehensive discussion to educate and train an individual patient or couple on the possible side effects including Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which can be associated with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating. On rare occasions, severe OHSS may cause fluid to suddenly build up in the abdomen and lungs and could result in hospitalization.