laughing baby playing with motherOvulation induction medications stimulate the development and release of the eggs from your ovaries.

Ovulation induction medications, commonly known as fertility drugs, are used to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries to produce one or more eggs in a cycle. The growth and development of the follicles are monitored using ultrasound. When the follicles reach maturity your doctor will instruct you to trigger ovulation so that procedures like intrauterine insemination or timed intercourse can be performed. Several kinds of fertility drugs are available, and it may take a few cycles to determine the treatment that works best for you.

Commonly used medications that stimulate follicle (egg) development.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid)

Clomiphene or Clomid, is the most commonly prescribed fertility drug to help induce ovulation. It is taken in tablet form and may be used if you have infrequent or irregular cycles. The most common side effects are headaches, blurred vision, and hot flashes.

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In some cases Dr. McNichol may recommend Letrozole as an alternative to Clomid. Most patients do not have any adverse effects or bothersome side effects when using Letrozole. Early data suggests that the success rates with Letrozole may be slightly better than with Clomid.

Follicle stimulating hormone

These medications simulates the natural hormone, FSH and require subcutaneous injection. They are typically prescribed when treatment with chlomiphene or Letrozole has been unsuccessful. These medications are far more potent than are the oral fertility drugs and require more intense monitoring while taking them. They are the most common medications used for ovulation induction for invitro fertilization. The most common side effect is enlarged ovaries, which may cause abdominal pain. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), is a rare but serious side effect. FSH is available as Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur, and Bravelle.

Other Medications

Human chorionic gonadotropins (HCG) –is an injectable medication used to cause ovulation once your follicles are developed and your eggs are mature. HCG is used to induce ovulation for invitro fertilization as well as intrauterine insemination.

GnRH analogs (leuprolide, Lupron, Antagon) – these medications are usually used with FSH, and HCG so that Dr. McNichol can control every step of your follicle growth and development. Most GnRH analogs are given by injection. Common side effects include hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and decreased libido.