Ovulation Induction


Induction of ovulation (IOO) is suitable for couples with ovulatory disorders while stimulated intra-uterine insemination (S-IUI) is suitable for couples with unexplained infertility, endometriosis and mild sperm abnormalities.

What are IOO and S-IUI?

IOO involves stimulating the ovaries to produce one or two follicles which hopefully will contain an egg each. The release of the eggs is timed to coincide either with regular intercourse or with injection of prepared sperm into the woman’s uterus in an IUI procedure.

The chance of achieving a pregnancy with these methods of treatment is around 10-14% per cycle. We recommend up to 6 cycles of IOO or 4 cycles of S-IUI before potentially moving on to an IVF cycle if you are not pregnant.

What is involved in the treatment?

You need to ring the Fertility Nurse on 01625 569 448 or 07500 806 319 on the first day of your period to request treatment.

You will be asked to attend the Unit for a blood test and/or scan on day 2 of your cycle.

Based on the results of these tests you will be asked to start daily injections of Gonadotrophins to stimulate the ovaries. All your drugs would have been delivered to you by our Pharmacist. The Nurse will teach you how to self-administer these and give you a supply to keep at home.

You will then come back to the Unit on day 8 of your cycle for another blood test and scan so the development of the follicles can be monitored.

You will continue with your injections and attend the Unit on days determined by the Unit until mature follicles are confirmed on the scan. This means having one or two follicles measuring around 16mm or above.

The Nurse will then ask you to take an injection of hCG (Pregnyl or Ovitrelle) to stimulate ovulation.

If you’re having IOO, we recommend you have intercourse every other day from then onwards.

If you’re having IUI, you will need to attend our designated Licensed Unit with your partner on the day we advise you. We will make and advise you of the arrangements for this. Your partner will need to provide a semen sample which is prepared in the laboratory for insemination. The prepared sperm will be injected (inseminated) into your womb through a simple procedure that is similar to having a smear test. The procedure is relatively painless and takes around 15 minutes. You can carry on with your usual activities afterwards.

What are the risks?

The drugs used for this treatment are given in low doses and so relatively quite safe. There is however a small risk of over responding and developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) because of which you will be regularly monitored through blood tests and scans to prevent this complication. If you develop significant nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath or have severe abdominal pain you must contact the Fertility Nurse as soon as possible. Out of hours you should contact the Emergency Gynaecology Unit at your local Hospital.

If more than 3 dominant follicles develop during treatment, the cycle might be cancelled because of the risk of multiple pregnancies. If that is the case, we would not give you Ovitrelle/Pregnyl and we would ask you to have only protected intercourse (using condoms). If more than 6 follicles develop and you are eligible for IVF, we would discuss the possibility of converting the cycle to IVF. This will be at considerably greater expense.

Please notify the Fertility Nurse immediately if you have any concerns about your treatment.