Inducing ovulation means stimulating the ovaries in order to ripen and release multiple eggs in a single cycle. The process is used in fertility treatment including in vitro fertilization. When monitored closely and using the fertility drugs, ovulation simulation can maximise the woman’s chances of conception.
In the natural cycle of ovulation, the pituitary gland releases the follicle stimulating hormone or FSH in the beginning of the menstrual cycle. This leads to the ovarian follicles that contain immature eggs to develop and the eggs that are in it start to ripen. Though several eggs begin to mature, only a single egg will be dominant and the others will disintegrate. Once the egg gets matured, the luteinizing hormone gets released. This causes the egg to break out from the follicle and the egg then begins its journey through the fallopian tube and into the uterus.
Most women only release one egg at a time. Rarely there may be a release of two eggs. However, women who have difficulty in conceiving may not release any egg at all. Once the egg releases, the woman is fertile and in order for her to get pregnant the egg should get fertilized in the next 24 hours. Since every woman may have a different menstrual cycle, it will be difficult to find out when ovulation occurs. The natural conception may be a miss even for those women who do not have any fertility problems.
When the ovulation is induced, fertility drugs are given to mimic the natural hormones that get released by the body. In the week before menstruation and when the new cycle begins, the patient is given medication in order to prevent an early ovulation. Once the cycle starts, the patient receives an oral or injected fertility drug. This produces FSH and this causes the development of follicles. This helps to develop the egg inside for it to mature. However, unlike the normal process, fertility drugs make multiple eggs mature at the same time.
A fertility treatment method called Vitrification is where the eggs and the embryos are frozen and thawed. Cryopreservation was used until recent times where the embryo and the eggs were frozen slowly. Vitrification is the new method and is superior to cryopreservation. Its technology is also more sophisticated.
When the patients undergo an IVF, then a number of viable embryos are produced. The embryo that is not immediately transferred back to the patient is placed in the cryostorage. This means that they are frozen and then stored until they are needed to be used for later transfer. The unfertilized eggs can also be frozen to use in the future when they can then be thawed, fertilized and then transferred to the uterus.
The problem that can arise when freezing any cell in the body is that the fluid that is present inside the cell can form some ice crystals that are damaging. Vitrification uses a rapid cooling method so that ice crystals do not form.