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Ovulation problems

Details the treatment options available to patients with ovulation problems including weight loss, ovulation induction by fertility drugs, surgery for PCOS and egg donation.

There are several treatment options available to patients suffering from ovulation problems. These may include one of the following techniques: losing weight if overweight, ovulation induction by drugs, surgery for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome and egg donation.

General health advice

The patient is encouraged to maintain normal weight, even mild obesity can lead to failure of ovulation. Weight loss may result in spontaneous ovulation and may also improve the responsiveness to treatment. Similarly, being very under-weight may affect ovulation and gaining weight may result in resumption and spontaneous ovulation.

Ovulation induction

Ovulation induction involves the use of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce one or more follicles in women who ovulate infrequently or who do not ovulate at all (anovulatory). There is about a 90% chance that the ovaries can be made to work with the right drug(s) so long as the patient does not have a raised baseline FSH level that may indicate ovarian failure.

The ovaries are stimulated with hormonal treatment so-called “fertility drugs”; these may be given as tablets such as clomiphene, tamoxifen and bromocriptine or injections such as hMG or FSH.  What follows is a selection of the most commonly used ovulation induction drugs.

In the light of recent evidence suggesting a possible link between ovulation induction drugs and the long-term risk of ovarian cancer, some infertility specialists will only offer ovulation induction after the couples have undergone full investigations, including tests to ensure that the Fallopian tubes are open.

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