a pill in a woman's hand
Welcome to our guide to ovulation induction: digestible, comprehensive and medically reviewed. Whether you’re brand new to fertility treatment or a pro already, this guide is for you to better understand the ins and outs of fertility treatment.
Dr. Salim
Reviewed by Dr. Rehan Salim
Medical Director at Lister Fertility
Consultant gynaecologist and expert in reproductive medicine
A few quick facts
It’s non-invasive and more affordable than other treatments, making it a good early option for people who need help conceiving.
Ovulation induction treats irregular or absent ovulation, also called “anovulation”.
Treatments can include oral or injectable medications.
hands of a woman, a woman taking a pill - collage stylea woman taking a bill and a couple holding hands

What is ovulation induction?

Ovulation induction is a good first option for women who need assistance conceiving a child. It’s when a doctor prescribes medication to help stimulate ovulation, which is when the ovaries release a mature egg to be fertilised. To see how the medication is impacting the ovaries, a doctor will perform an ultrasound and/or take blood after medication started.1 Ovulation induction can be used in conjunction with sexual intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to help increase the chances of pregnancy.2

How does ovulation induction work?

A doctor will prescribe hormonal medication, either through injections or in pill form, that will send signals to a person’s ovaries to produce and grow eggs.

Although it was originally used to produce a single, healthy egg in women with irregular menstrual cycles, today, it can be used in cases of “unexplained infertility” to help produce and grow multiple viable and healthy eggs.3

How successful is ovulation induction?

While it depends on age and reason for needing treatment, it’s generally 10-20% successful. But, for people whose only fertility concern is inconsistent ovulation, it’s much more successful: 80% of people ovulate with treatment, and 50% conceive a child.4

How much does ovulation induction cost?

Each treatment costs between £500-800 depending on the medication prescribed by a fertility doctor. Some people may need to go through multiple treatments before trying other options.

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The bottom line

Ovulation induction is a good early treatment option for people who don’t ovulate consistently. It’s less expensive and less invasive than other treatment options and is used in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or timed sexual intercourse. People may have to go through ovulation induction treatment multiple times before conceiving a child.

Common questions about ovulation induction

Your fertility doctor will be able to answer your specific questions about your unique treatment plan, but there are a handful of questions that nearly every patient asks:

Can a GP give you ovulation induction?
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You should consult a fertility specialist instead of a GP. Fertility doctors have extensive experience monitoring follicle growth and adjusting treatment to avoid side effects.8

Is ovulation induction safe?
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There are always risks to treatments, but generally, ovulation induction is very safe. There are possible side effects like headaches, nausea, bloating, and weight gain, and there’s a rare but possible risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can be dangerous and require medical attention. Last, because there can be multiple eggs produced in one cycle, there’s a possibility of multiple pregnancies, like twins or triplets.7

How many times can ovulation induction be done?
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While there’s no limit, your doctor might recommend trying ovulation induction a few times before trying alternative fertility treatment options.6 Because ovulation induction is treated with hormonal medication, it can take a few attempts to pinpoint the exact dosages and medications that will work best. 

How long does ovulation induction take?
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Generally, it takes 2-3 weeks per treatment.5

What if ovulation induction doesn’t work?
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There are lots of other fertility treatment options available. Your fertility doctor will recommend the best course of action for your unique situation.

Am I eligible for ovulation induction?

If you show signs of inconsistent ovulation or anovulation, ovulation induction treatment might be a good option. Your fertility doctor will help you understand the treatment that is best for you.

Unfortunately, we can’t currently support ovulation induction treatment in our Gaia Plans, but we’ll let the community know as soon as we change this.

Is ovulation induction suitable for me?

Ovulation induction is suitable for heterosexual couples who may have ovulation issues. 

Learn more about other options below:

Still have questions about ovulation induction? 

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