What Is Ovarian Stimulation in IVF? Know Its Relation To Fertility

IVF is a complex procedure involving various steps and ovarian stimulation is one of them. To know more, read this article.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Oct 05, 2021
What Is Ovarian Stimulation in IVF? Know Its Relation To Fertility

Ovarian stimulation is an essential part of a successful IVF cycle. This treatment stimulates your ovaries to produce many viable eggs. Multiple eggs increase the chances of having viable eggs and extra embryos to freeze them if additional attempts are needed to get pregnant. Dr. Aindri Sanyal, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Kolkata shares more information about this procedure in this article. So, if you are planning to opt for IVF treatment, you must read about ovarian stimulation.

How is ovarian stimulation done?

The most effective medications that require ovarian stimulation are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Ovarian stimulation is attained using either oral or injectable medication.

Oral medication 

Clomiphene citrate, also known as Clomid or Serophene, is one of the most commonly used oral medications which is taken by patient every day for five days towards the starting of the cycle. 

ovarian stimulation

Injectable fertility medication 

Injectable fertility medications are gonadotropins that contain FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and/or LH (luteinizing hormone) (luteinizing hormone). The advantage of these drugs is that they are identical to the hormones (FSH and LH) found in a woman's body. As a result, the drugs provide direct ovarian stimulation.

There are some potential side effects with injectable medications, but the majority are minor: skin irritation, tenderness, bruising, or swelling at the injection site. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can occur in a small number of women. Symptoms include enlarged ovaries, fluid retention, and weight gain. 

Also Read: IVF During Pandemic: Things That Couples Should Know Before Visiting IVF Center

For patients who do not ovulate in response to oral medications alone, a hybrid approach is also available which involves stimulating the ovaries by combining oral and injectable medication.

Ovarian stimulation is an essential element of many fertility treatments. These medications, either oral or injectable, stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs which can cause multiple pregnancies. However, there are fewer chances of this taking place, and most patients conceive only one child at a time.

What is the purpose of ovarian stimulation?

Ovarian stimulation is performed to:

  • The number of eggs released during ovulation gets increased. 
  • Increase the possibility of fertilization of eggs
  • Receive more than one egg for fertilization with sperms prior to the IVF procedure during the egg retrieval step.
  • Increase the chances of forming a viable embryo for embryo transfer.
purpose of ovarian stimulation

How Does Ovarian StimulationWork?

Natural hormonal changes regulate egg maturation and release in a natural ovulatory cycle. However, in some women, this does not occur naturally, and medications are prescribed to the patient in order to stimulate ovarian function. This allows for the planning of each hormonal change, which improves the quality of the oocytes released.

What are the types of Ovarian Stimulation? 

Following are the two types of ovarian stimulation:

Mild Ovarian Stimulation

Mild ovarian stimulation involves injecting low doses of hormonal injections, which are usually combined with tablets or capsules. As a result of this combination, gonadotrophin consumption is reduced.

Conventional Ovarian Stimulation

In patients who require urgent fertility preservation, our doctors can begin stimulation on any day of the menstrual cycle. It's known as random start stimulation. The type and initial dose of gonadotrophins are chosen based on the patient's medical condition.

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What are the Benefits of Ovarian Stimulation?

  • Ovarian stimulation is a patient-friendly approach.
  • It lowers the occurrence of hyperstimulation, such as PCOS.
  • It also helps patients who have a low ovarian reserve.
  • It is also cost-effective and does not place undue strain on patients, particularly when additional IVF cycles are required.

What are the risks involved with Ovarian Stimulation?

ovarian stimulation risks

This is a mandatory step in IVF treatment process but there are certain risks involved with the IVF process thats some treatment seekers might experience. Following are the risks:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can be caused by ovarian stimulation.
  • The ovaries become painful and swollen in OHSS. It is more common when ovarian stimulation is accomplished using hormonal injections.
  • Few of the symptoms that might cause risk are nausea, tenderness around the ovaries, vomiting, and abdominal pain. 

Conclusion

Ovarian stimulation is used for creating regular ovulation for women who have irregular or absent cycles which help in enhancing fertility and by encouraging ovaries to release multiple eggs, which increases the chances of conceiving. Although there are benefits of ovarian stimulation, some risks are also involved with it. If you face severe symptoms or have any doubts regarding the same, contact an ovation partner physician.

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