Bath Fertility

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Ovulation induction

What is ovulation induction and follicle tracking?

If you do not ovulate reliably but you have normal healthy tubes and your partner has a normal or nearly normal semen analysis it may be possible for you to have ovulation induction as a treatment.

Ovulation induction (OI) and follicle tracking treatment is where you are given fertility drugs to stimulate the development of a few follicles, which are ‘tracked’ or monitored by ultrasound scan.

When a sufficient number of your follicles are judged to have reached the optimum size, a final injection is given to trigger ovulation. Intercourse is then planned to coincide with ovulation to maximise the chance of your partner’s sperm reaching a ripe egg and for fertilisation to occur. Although the procedure itself is straightforward, the timing is very important.

What is involved in this treatment?

Before you start treatment, an ultrasound scan is carried out to check the appearance of your ovaries. Providing this is normal, a low dose of fertility drugs is started to stimulate the production of one or more follicles.

A week after starting injections, another scan is carried out to check how many follicles are growing and their size. We are aiming for you to have a maximum of 3 large follicles and no more than 2 smaller. If the scan shows this, a final injection of a different hormone is needed to release the egg(s) 34-40 hours later. Intercourse should be timed to coincide with this.

How successful is it?

Pregnancy rates for ovulation induction are around 10-15% per treatment cycle. This is lower than with IVF/ICSI as we are not able to be certain that fertilisation has taken place following ovulation and intercourse. For this reason OI is usually limited to 3 cycles before we review your progress