What is it like to have ovulation induction?

Are you considering ovulation induction (OI) and wondering what it's actually like to have the treatment? Here are a few typical "months in the life" of using OI.

First step: Your doctor's visit

Your doctor will ask you some questions about your menstrual periods, your age, and your attempts to get pregnant. The doctor will also examine you and do some tests to see if OI is appropriate. The purpose of these questions and tests are to:

  • check whether your fertility issues are related to ovulation problems
  • make sure you're not already pregnant (OI medications should not be used for pregnant women)
  • check your general health and make sure the treatment can be used safely

The tests your doctor performs may also include a semen analysis of your partner, since there may be other factors or combination of other factors (such as male factor issues) that may be causing fertility problems unrelated to ovulation.

Month 1: Starting OI

If you and your doctor decide to give OI a try, you will likely start with the medication clomiphene citrate (Serophene®, Clomid®), which is taken by mouth. Some women may also need to use injectable medications to help with OI. (In this case, most people see a fertility specialist and can learn to give themselves the injections, or have their partner give them, at home.)

If you're prescribed clomiphene citrate, your doctor will decide the best way for you to take the medication. Each round or cycle of treatment with clomiphene citrate can be repeated a few times. During a cycle of treatment, most women ovulate 6 to 12 days after the last dose. You will probably be asked to track your ovulation (using an ovulation predictor kit or basal body temperature chart) to see how the medication is working. Your doctor will likely recommend that you have intercourse every second day, starting 48 hours before ovulation.

You may be feeling excited and a bit apprehensive as you start treatment. You may also experience side effects such as hot flashes, nausea, breast tenderness, or mood changes. If you notice bloating or stomach pain, severe headache, vision changes, or yellowing of the skin or eyes, contact your doctor.

Your chances of getting pregnant are greatest during the first month of treatment. If you do get pregnant, there is about a 10% chance of having twins. Triplets or more are rare.

Months 2 and 3: Continuing treatment

After each cycle of treatment (which lasts about a month), you'll have a pregnancy test to see if it was successful. If you didn't get pregnant, another cycle of treatment will be given. You will continue to check your ovulation and have regular intercourse as you continue your treatment.

You may be feeling disappointed that the treatment hasn't worked yet, and hopeful that future courses of treatment cycles will help. Read "Stay the course" for tips on staying positive during fertility treatment. It may take a few cycles to find the appropriate dose for you, and a few cycles on the right dose to get pregnant. If the treatment is unsuccessful for 3 to 4 months with you on clomiphene citrate, your doctor will likely recommend that you try other treatment options, such as medications given by injection. If OI is not successful, you and your doctor will need to discuss your next steps, which may include other fertility treatments (e.g., in-vitro fertilization). Often at this point, if you aren't already seeing a fertility specialist, your doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist may refer you to one.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2019. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Ovulation-Induction