Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovary during your monthly menstrual cycle. In the ovaries, one follicle (the sac containing the egg inside) grows and finally ruptures to release the eggs. Ovulation usually happens 12 to 16 days before the next period starts. 

Ovulation is essential to get pregnant. A woman can only become pregnant if a sperm fertilizes an egg. However, if a woman is not getting pregnant, despite having carefully timed, unprotected sex for one year, then it is known as infertility. There are many treatments that can significantly improve the chances of getting pregnant. They mainly include hormone treatments, fertility drugs, and surgery. 

Among the various fertility treatments available, Ovulation Induction (OI) is a common one. It is a fertility treatment that uses medications to cause or regulate ovulation, or increase the number of eggs produced during a cycle. The medicines may be in the form of tablets or injections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ovulation Induction (OI) Fertility Treatment

1. When can you opt for OI?

  • In a case of ‘unexplained Infertility’ (when no cause is found for a couple's inability to conceive).

  • If you are having PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), where you have many follicles but there is no ovulation.

 2. When OI should NOT be done?

  • If you have already tried OI for more than 6 to 9 months. Here OI is unlikely to succeed.
  • You have been trying to get pregnant for less than 6 months.
  • If both of your fallopian tubes, also known as uterine tubes (tubes that stretch from the uterus to the ovaries, and are a part of the female reproductive system) are blocked.
  • If your husband has very low or absent sperm count/and or motility (motility is the ability of an organism to move independently. In this case, sperm motility means the movement of sperm).

3. What tests should be done before OI?

(a) Hysterosalpingography (HSG): An X-ray test to outline the internal shape of the uterus and to show whether the fallopian tubes are blocked.

(b) Anti-müllerian Hormone (AMH) Test: This test measures the level of anti-müllerian hormone in the blood. AMH is made in the reproductive tissues of both males and females.

(c) Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVS) Test: A procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and bladder.

In addition to the above, a blood group test, Thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder) screening, and Rubella testing (to detect the presence of antibodies that develop after rubella infection/immunization) should be done to ensure that your baby does not have any problem during and after pregnancy.

4. How OI is done?

Tablets are usually started from day 2/3/4 of the period, for about 5 days, as per your doctor’s prescription. Sometimes, injections may also be added, if necessary. 

TVS Follicular Study is done from day 8/9, once every 2 to 3 days (until day 14 to16) to confirm that the medicine is working.

5. What's the success rate of OI?

If OI is done with oral medicines, the success rate is about 15% per cycle. That means, out of 100 women taking the tablets, having regular intercourse, and undergoing TVS Follicular Study, about 15 will conceive at the end of a month. With injections, the chances are around 18-20% per month.

6. How long OI can be done?

For some people, getting pregnant can take longer than expected. The duration of the treatment depends on your age and the duration of infertility.

  • It is useless to take the medicines for OI, year after year. Pregnancy should happen within 6 to 9 cycles of OI. 

  • If oral tablets have been tried for 4 to 6 months, it's better to add injections for the next 3 to 4 months, as per the advice of your doctor.

  • If pregnancy still does not happen, it is better to consider IUI (Intrauterine insemination) or IVF (In vitro fertilization). Check about these treatments with your doctor before taking a final decision.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.