Submitted by Shelby D Burns Wed 07/27/2011
Mr. Pharmacist Ovulation induction is the use of medication to stimulate development of one or more ovarian follicles in order to produce an egg. This is done for women who do not ovulation, a condition known as anovulation, which leads to infertility. Women who have anovulation will not be able to have children without medical treatment. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCS) is one condition where anovulation is a symptom. Ovulation induction is different from controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, although both treatments use the same drugs. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple mature follicles and multiple eggs for use with in vitro fertilization. There are primarily four kinds of drug therapies used to induce ovulation: Clomid or Serophene (clomiphene citrate), Femara or letrozole (and other aromatase inhibitors), injectable gonadotropins, injectable follicle stimulating hormones, and bromocriptine. For most women, one of these treatments will be successful. Clomid and Serophene are brand names for the generic clomiphene citrate. It’s a tablet taken for specific days during a woman’s cycle. About 75% of anovulating women will respond to Clomid. Femara (generic is letrozole) is taken orally. It is in the class of drugs called an aromatase inhibitor. When the enzyme aromatase is inhibited by the letrozole medication, estrogen levels are suppressed. As a result the pituitary gland increases production of follicle stimulating hormone. Injectable gonadotropins contain follicle stimulating hormone which encourage the follicles to mature and eggs to develop. The injections are given on a daily basis for up to two weeks until an ultrasound shows mature follicles. When anovulation is caused by elevated levels of the hormone prolactin, bromocriptine can treat the dysfunction. This is an uncommon disorder.