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Ovulation induction

An irregular menstrual cycle suggests that ovulation (the release of an egg) may not be occurring each month. This is a relatively common cause of infertility that is easy to fix.

Tablets or injections may be given to help stimulate the development and release of an egg. Timed sexual intercourse can then take place, allowing the best chance of spontaneous conception.

Although each of these treatments increases the risk of multiple pregnancy, careful monitoring helps minimise this risk by advising you to abstain from intercourse if too many eggs have developed.

Ovulation induction is an option for couples where the woman’s fallopian tubes are normal and the man’s semen is of good quality.

  • Tablets - Clomiphene or tamoxifen

    Tablets (clomiphene or tamoxifen) are the simplest form of treatment. They are usually given to you in the first few days following a period.

    Your body’s response is monitored by regular ultrasound scans. We need to:

    • ensure that too many eggs are not developing at the same time
    • check the thickness of the lining of your womb (endometrium)


    A course of treatment may last six months.

  • Injections - Gonadotrophin

    Tablets are not always effective so hormone injections (gonadotrophin) are sometimes required to stimulate egg production.

    Injections increase the risk of greater egg production and multiple pregnancies. You will be monitored much more frequently using ultrasound scans and hormone assessment (oestradiol).

    When there are one or two mature eggs within your ovary, a further injection is given to help release the egg.

    A course of treatment may last six months.