If the egg cells do not mature fully or not at all, their maturation can be supported by hormonal stimulation. Depending on the patient’s individual situation, stimulation can be based on tablets (clomifene), injections (gonadotrophins) or a special hormone pump.
Any hormonal stimulation must be monitored by ultrasound and possibly hormone examination. If the couple wants to have intercourse or an insemination at the time of ovulation, it must be guaranteed that only 1-3 egg cells mature in order to keep the risk of multiple pregnancy calculably low. Apart from multiple pregnancy, hormonal stimulation can entail further risks and side-effects. They include an increased risk of thrombosis or embolism, mild weight gain, headaches, nausea, allergic reactions, water retention and ovarian overstimulation.
Most women tolerate stimulation therapy without problems. Nevertheless, we always try to find out together with the patient whether she has an increased risk of side-effects before we start therapy. This is particularly relevant for women with coagulation disorders, pronounced obesity, certain hormone disorders and a smoking habit.