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Houston Fertility Center

Ovulation and Fertility: Understanding What It Involves

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on September 17, 2015

An egg in a woman's systemHere at the Houston Fertility Center, we offer patients advanced infertility treatment options that can address the needs of men and women. These treatments may involve minimally invasive therapies or more involved treatments depending on your needs.

Ovulation is a crucial part of fertility and of fertility treatments of various kinds. Let's take a moment right now to consider ovulation, ovulation problems, and its role in fertility as well as fertility treatments.

About Ovulation

Ovulation is a process in which a mature egg is released from a woman's ovaries, travels down the fallopian tube, and is ready to be fertilized.

Typically women can note the timing of their cycle so they can improve their chances of conception during certain times of the month. When there are issues with a woman's cycle, problems with ovulation, or other issues related to reproductive health, there are many options to consider for treatment.

Ovulation Induction During Fertility Treatment

During a fertility treatment, it's common for ovulation induction to be performed. In essence, this means triggering ovulation at a very specific and controlled time in order to help in the harvesting of eggs or to boost the potential for a successful pregnancy.

In order to do this, women are often given fertility drugs that will help with the development of viable eggs and cause ovulation to occur. These fertility drugs will not just help trigger ovulation, but it they will also result in the development of multiple viable eggs during a cycle, increasing the chances of successful pregnancy on the process.

Ovulation induction is common as part of in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and egg harvesting from women who wish to donate their eggs.

Fertility Drugs for Ovulation Induction

The most common drugs that are used as part of the ovulation induction process include:

  • Clomiphene Citrate (Seraphene and Clomid)
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (Pergonal, Humegon, and Repronex)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (Follistim/Gonal-F, Bravelle)
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Profasi, Pregnyl, Ovidrel)
  • Leuprolide (Lupron)
  • Synthetic Gonadotropin (FSH/LH) Inhibitor

Side Effects of Fertility Drugs

The most common side effects of fertility drugs include

  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Hot flashes

Thankfully all of these side effects of fertility drugs are very mild and are only temporary. Your fertility specialist will be able to go over these matters with you in greater detail during the consultation process, and will help you understand other matters related to your fertility treatment.

What Happens Following Ovulation Induction

In the case of in vitro fertilization (IVF), ovulation induction is a key step in the process. The eggs are harvested following ovulation so that they can be fertilized in a lab setting before being placed in the womb to be brought to term.

For intrauterine insemination (IUI), ovulation is induced so that there are viable eggs present in the uterus when the artificial insemination procedure is performed. This makes successful pregnancy more likely to happen.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

For more information about your options for starting the family of your dreams, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. The entire team here at Houston Fertility Center will work with you to help you undergo the best treatment for you and your needs.

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