Almost 25% of female infertility is caused by ovulatory disorders. The commonest condition that causes this is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It affects about 20% of women with varying degrees of severity and impact. Frequently the menstrual cycles of a woman with polycystic ovaries will be irregular, and ovulation can be unpredictable. Ovulation induction (OI) may help women who don’t reliably release their eggs due to ovulatory irregularities.
An ovulation induction medication can be taken for 5 days at the start of the menstrual cycle. The medication has to be prescribed by a doctor and is typically taken on days 2-6 of the cycle, and will in many cases cause more regular ovulation. Commonly prescribed medications used are clomiphene citrate and letrozole.
If a woman regularly ovulates then ovulation induction medications do not improve the chances of falling pregnant and in fact the risk of a multiple pregnancy is increased.