IVF Begins with Ovulation Induction

An illustration of an eggSuperovulation, or ovulation induction, is the first stage of in vitro fertilization. It increases the likelihood of conception, and gives doctors the ability to select only the healthiest eggs for fertilization. At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, we accomplish ovulation induction through the use of different medications and hormones. Dr. Michael Vermesh and Dr. Vuk Jovanovic will perform a thorough evaluation and determine the appropriate dosage and treatment plan for you. 

IVF is the assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure that has shown the highest rates of success. Many hopeful parents have experienced the benefits of IVF treatment and realized their dreams of having children. If you have been considering IVF treatment and would like to learn more about ovulation induction, please contact our Los Angeles, CA, office to schedule an appointment. We can provide the effective, compassionate care you need on your journey to parenthood.

Medications Used to Achieve Ovulation Induction

No two patients' needs are the same, and IVF can be customized to meet different needs. Dr. Vermesh or Dr. Jovanovic will determine which fertility medication is most appropriate for you. Common medications include:

  • Clomiphene citrate - Clomiphene citrate is an oral medication that stimulates the ovaries by blocking estrogen receptors. Your body interprets this as having low estrogen levels and compensates by producing more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which causes superovulation.
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin - Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) is a fertility medication composed of FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones naturally induce ovulation, and when taken in greater amounts, they can induce superovulation. The hMG hormone is injected, and the dosage will vary among patients. 
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone - FSH can be administered with or without LH to induce ovulation. Some patients only require FSH for ovarian stimulation. FSH is administered in injectable form. 
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin - Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a natural hormone that is administered 36 hours prior to egg retrieval. It is also known as the trigger shot because it causes the release of the eggs from the follicles. The hCG shot also encourages the body to release progesterone and prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg. 
  • Leuprolide and synthetic gonadotropin inhibitors - These medications work by inhibiting the release of FSH and LH, and eliminate the possibility of a premature surge of LH, which could cause the eggs to be released early. 

During your treatment, your doctor will monitor the effect of the medication with blood tests and ultrasounds to determine the optimal time to deliver the trigger shot of hCG. Approximately 36 hours after the trigger shot, egg retrieval can begin.

In most cases, patients who take ovulation induction medications do not experience adverse side effects. However, these medications can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a condition in which the ovaries become swollen and painful.

Contact Our Office

If you have been considering IVF or any other fertility treatment, and you would like to learn more about ovulation induction medications, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians.