What do I need to know about ovulation induction?

Ovulation is an essential part of conceiving a baby, but for some women it happens rarely, if at all. With ovulation induction treatment at her London fertility clinic, female gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer has helped many couples realise their dreams of starting a family. Here are five frequently asked questions about the process.

1. How will you get my ovaries to release eggs?

The first step in ovulation induction is usually the ingestion of a mild fertility drug called Clomiphene. In about 70% of women, it stimulates the ovaries to release eggs. It works by blocking the effect of oestrogen in the body, tricking it into increasing follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones, both essential for ovulation.

2. What is the success rate of Clomiphene?

Clomiphene is the most widely used fertility drug, and out of those for whom it achieves ovulation, about 40% will then become pregnant.

3. What if Clomiphene doesn’t work for me?

Clomiphene does not work for everyone; in these cases, injectable drugs known as gonadotrophins may be appropriate.

4. When do I start?

Your first step is a consultation. At her London fertility clinic, Miss Amanda Tozer talks you through the entire process, ensuring you understand the process and its associated risks, and you will have a candid conversation about ovulation induction success rates, expectations and next steps. She will explain that you will take the Clomiphene tablets from day 2 to day 6 of a bleed.

5. What are the risks of ovulation induction? There is a risk of the ovaries becoming over-stimulated and swelling up, resulting in a bloated feeling. Ignored, OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) can become serious and you will therefore undergo a scan on approximately day 10 of the cycle to monitor this. Other side effects of ovulation induction include hot flushes, abdominal pain, weight gain, insomnia, nausea and mood swings.