Superovulation is one of the steps involved in IVF (in-vitro-fertility) treatment. It is another name for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. It is a process involving the use of artificial drugs to initiate the production of several eggs (follicles). These various eggs can be taken out by oocyte recovery (egg assortment) for use in vitro preparation (IVF), or be given chance to ovulate, This leads to an enhanced rate of success in IVF and therefore, takes you one step closer to parenthood. In the ordinary course, a lady ovulates one egg for every cycle. In the superovulation process, with the assistance of fertility drugs, she will actually be able to deliver more than one egg, which the specialist will recover from the ovaries not long before ovulation. This enables the eggs to fertilize with the male gamete in the later stages of IVF and hence, this interaction subsequently builds the odds of you becoming a parent.
The goals of superovulation:
This process is aimed to produce a good number of eggs with an average being 13 eggs.
Producing a healthy embryo.
Lower the risk of cycle inhibition.
Chances of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which causes inflammation of the ovaries are reduced.
Components of Superovulation:
GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonist and GnRH antagonist.
Choice of the Gonadotropin which may be r-FSH (recombinant follicle stimulation hormone) or u-FSH (urinary follicle-stimulating hormone).
The r-FSH or u-FSH may or may not be accompanied by r-h LH (Luteinizing Hormone).
Finally, hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) marks maturation.
Who needs Superovulation:
Superovulation is often opted by women who are already ovulating but, for some reason, are not able to conceive. Superovulation can be a great help for such women as it enables them to have improved chances of getting pregnant because it involves the release of more eggs. It is also opted by the women who have open/ unblocked fallopian tubes (normal physiology) and whose partners are having adequate sperm count. It can also be opted for the following reasons:
Infertility due to increased female age
Infertility due to mild male factor
Principles of Superovulation:
- Various protocols should be chosen to accomplish the principal goal of the patients.
- Characterizing ideal FSH and LH relationships should be done along with laying out ideal LH ranges for stimulation of ovaries for different clinical classifications.
- Minor side effects to lessen cancellations and work on understanding compliance.
- Complications of a protocol might be connected with the actual protocol or, all the more for the most part, to the administration of the medications.
- The protocol should be appropriate for the babies to be conceived since the birth of a single healthy newborn is the last and the most important objective of every infertility treatment.
The Steps in the Superovulation technique/IUI are:
- Suppression of the normal menstrual period – This might be required to plan your treatment cycle. This is normally finished with a short course of the contraception pill.
- Stimulation of the ovaries with injectable hormones – In this process, ovaries are stimulated so that they undergo superovulation. Daily FSH injections are given to you to stimulate the development of 2-4 ovarian follicles. You will be taught how to give these injections yourself. They are taken every day for around 10-14 days, beginning on days 1-3 of your period. Superovulation is induced by these hormones.
- Monitoring of treatment with transvaginal ultrasound and bloodwork – It is vital to decide the number of follicles being created and when they are prepared to ovulate. During this time, close observations with blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds are required. The initial 4-5 days of treatment don’t need close observation yet after this time, testing will be done each 1-2 days to screen the progress so far.
- Triggering of ovulation – This is finished with an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The hCG causes final maturation of the egg(s), trailed by ovulation or arrival of the egg(s) around 36 after 40 hours. The circumstance of this injection is significant as it assists with timing the insemination to be performed around the hour of ovulation.
- Timed Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – A sperm test is given upon the arrival of ovulation. It is arranged with the goal that the moving sperm are moved into a droplet. If you are utilizing contributor sperm, the example is defrosted and “washed,” or flushed of the synthetic chemicals used to safeguard the sperm from the freezing system. When ready, the sperm sample is put into the uterus through the cervix utilizing a little, adaptable tube known as a “catheter.” This is a basic system, like a pap test, with little uneasiness.
- Luteal phase support – Following the IUI, you will begin progesterone supplementation (Prometrium, Endometrin, Crinone). Progesterone is delivered during a characteristic menstrual cycle to establish the best climate for the prepared egg to embed in the uterus. This medicine is carried out until the pregnancy test, which is completed fourteen days following the IUI procedure. In the event that you are pregnant, you are still supposed to continue the progesterone during the first trimester as well.
Just like any other treatment that works well, there are some risks involved with superovulation also. These risks include the following:
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is described by intensified ovaries and liquid amassing in the mid-region after ovulation in a cycle where gonadotropin drugs were taken. The opportunity of OHSS is expanded in ladies with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and in cycles bringing about pregnancy. It goes from gentle to serious. This condition happens when the ovaries get extremely huge and load up with liquid because of the gonadotropin drugs. Factors are released by the ovaries that make a lady’s veins release fluid into the pelvis.
In mild OHSS, ladies might have side effects of swelling and pelvic uneasiness; this happens in 10-20 percent of gonadotropin cycles and rapidly settle after treatment closes.
In around 1% of cycles, OHSS is more extreme. In these intriguing cases, a lady might encounter trouble peeing, quickly put on weight, become dried out, or have organ difficulties including the lungs, kidneys, and liver.
Serious instances of OHSS might require hospitalization. Ladies with OHSS have an expanded risk of blood clots; in this manner should report any indications of leg pain or trouble to a doctor right away.
OHSS risk factors include:
- Low body weight
- Polycystic ovary condition (PCOS)
- Higher dosages of gonadotropins
- Rapidly ascending or high estrogen levels
- Prior episodes of OHSS
- High number of generated follicles.
b) Multiple Births:
The main pressing issue with superovulation is the opportunity of multiple births. Around 20-30 percent of effective in vitro preparation (IVF) cycles bring about twins (versus 1-2 percent of normal births). Of all treatments offered, superovulation has the most noteworthy risk of trios, by and large, a 3-5 percent possibility. Superovulation builds the gamble of various births. Around 20-30% of effective IVF pregnancies have brought about twins or trios. Superovulation has the most increased risk of trios when contrasted with other treatment choices.
c) Adnexal torsion (ovarian turning/ twisting):
This is a rare inconvenience that only happens in around 1% of cycles. As the ovaries grow, they might enlarge, removing their blood supply and causing serious stomach pain, sickness, vomiting, and once in a while poor quality fevers. Treatment includes careful untwisting of the ovary.
d) Ectopic pregnancy:
An ectopic pregnancy takes place when a prepared egg inserts itself outside the uterus. The egg may embed in the fallopian tube or – less ordinarily – in the ovary, cervix, or pelvic hole. This condition happens in 1-2 percent, all things considered.
There are a couple of reasons why ectopic pregnancies are more normal during fertility medicines. To some extent in light of the fact that numerous ladies with infertility problems have tubal dysfunction, and in light of the fact that medicines frequently cause the arrival of different eggs, accordingly expanding the likelihood that not all prepared eggs travel through the tubes into the uterus.
Ectopic pregnancies require emergency clinical treatment and the pregnancy should be completed. Hence, at the point when a prepared egg inserts itself outside the uterus say in fallopian tubes, ovaries, or cervix, then, at that point, it is named ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is very rare. This expands the likelihood that not all treated eggs travel through the tubes into the uterus for implantation.
e) Medicinal side effects
Exaggeration of indications that often happen during the monthly menstrual cycle, like the feeling of heaviness or bloating in the pelvis, mood changes, cerebral pains, breast tenderness, and a decrease in energy level might happen.
Success rates will rely upon what sort of treatment is being utilized (IVF, IUI, or smaller than normal IVF), your conclusion, and your age. For the most part, IVF achievement rates are superior to IUI rates. But, you would have no desire to utilize a more invasive, costly treatment in the event that you don’t have to.
Superovulation probably won’t be effective in ladies over age 40 and ladies determined to have essential ovarian inadequacy (otherwise called POI or untimely ovarian disappointment). Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean IVF can’t assist you with conceiving. You may need to see an expert with explicit experience or think about utilizing an egg contributor. Truth be told, IVF achievement rates with an egg contributor are good. Preferably, your doctor won’t have any desire to put you through IVF or superovulation on the off chance that they don’t figure it will work for you. To this end ovarian hold, testing is finished. Ovarian save testing is expected to foresee how you will react to fertility drugs during IVF.
Another test called the Clomid challenge test (CCT) is additionally used now and again to anticipate potential superovulation achievement. Make certain to converse with your doctor regarding whether or not they think this will be a fruitful course.
Treatments for Infertility can be a true rollercoaster as they prove to be very exhausting both physically and mentally. Prior to seeking into these treatments, we should be completely aware of the process, the associated risks connected to it and obviously the achievement rates. You may get shocked to know that among infertile couples, treatment with superovulation and intrauterine insemination is multiple times as liable to bring about pregnancy as is intracervical insemination. You just need to have competent medical help by your side who is there to guide you through each and every step of the process. Believe it or not, superovulation also needs super care to bring super results. You need to have an experienced doctor to make your dream of parenthood come true as carelessness can turn this dream of yours into a nightmare also.