If a woman has an irregular menstrual cycle, monitoring with ultrasound scans and hormone assessments may help to identify the fertile time of the month and so improve the chances of natural conception. If ovulation is not occurring, then drugs may be administered after the onset of menstruation to stimulate egg production.
Ovulation induction medications, often referred to as fertility drugs, are used to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries resulting in the production of multiple eggs in one cycle. The medications also control the time that you release the eggs, or ovulate, so sexual intercourse, intrauterine inseminations, and in vitro fertilization procedures can be scheduled at the most likely time to achieve pregnancy. Women receiving fertility injections are monitored by ultrasound scans and hormone assessment.
There are risks associated with the use of ovulation induction medications including an increase in the chance for high order multiple births and the development of ovarian cysts. A rare side effect that can occur is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS); symptoms include severe pain in the pelvis, abdomen and chest, nausea, vomiting, bloating, weight gain and difficulty breathing.