In Vitro Fertilization: Ovarian Hyperstimulation

Ovarian hyperstimulation is often used in conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization, as it can increase the success rates of the procedure. Ovarian hyperstimulation is also recommended for women that have ovulation problems affecting fertility or cannot conceive due to unknown causes.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Treatment

Ovarian hyperstimulation is done using medications that will induce the production of ovules. The medications are hormones that stimulate the follicles and eggs to mature.

Common medications used for the hyperstimulation of the ovaries include:

  • Clomid
  • FSH solutions such as Follistim or Gonal F
  • Femara

These drugs should be administered in the early phases of the menstrual cycle (day 2 to 5). There are also injections that may be administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

Prior to the treatment, a series of blood tests will be recommended. The ovarian hyperstimulation is not considered a fertility treatment per se, but it can increase the chances of pregnancy and may be effective in numerous fertility treatments that require several mature eggs.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Recommendations

The ovulation hyperstimulation treatment is used in:

  • Women that experience anovulation
  • Couples that cannot conceive due to unexplained causes
  • Women that are considering IVF, to increase the chances of pregnancy
  • Women considering other assisted reproductive procedures, that require mature eggs

The ovarian hyperstimulation is not considered a fertility treatment per se, but it can be effective in numerous fertility treatments that require several mature eggs.

The drugs that stimulate the ovaries will be administered for a period of time indicated by the fertility doctor. In some patients, a cure of a few days will suffice to stimulate the production of multiple eggs. Other patients may require several weeks of treatment for the production of viable eggs. The fertility doctor will monitor the evolution of the ovaries and the follicles throughout the treatment.

Typically, the treatment is recommended for no more than 3 cycles and if the procedure is not successful, the couple should be re-evaluated and other fertility treatment recommendations should be made.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Effectiveness

The drugs used during an ovarian hyperstimulation treatment have been shown to be effective, and the chances of the couple conceiving are higher than the chances with natural intercourse. However, the success rates can depend on various factors:

  • The age of the woman - women under 30 have much higher chances of conceiving than women over 35
  • The sperm motility
  • The general health of the woman

On average, the pregnancy rates of ovarian hyperstimulation coupled with in vitro fertilization are between 5 and 15% per cycle in women under 35. The percentage can drop for women over 35.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Contraindications

The hyperstimulation of ovaries is not effective if:

  • The partner has a low sperm count or low sperm motility
  • The woman has damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
  • The woman is over 40