The Process of Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) is a process of inducing ovulation and egg release by injecting several different fertility medications. At the Fertility Institute, our doctors provide this service in conjunction with fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and intrauterine insemination. Our fertility specialists will work closely with you to determine what medications are best for your unique needs. To learn more about controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, contact our New Orleans, LA, office today.
Why COH is Necessary
COH is specifically designed to help control when ovulation occurs, and increase the number of eggs released. These two factors can ultimately increase the chances of fertility when combined with other treatments. COH is not designed to treat or correct a condition that is hindering fertility. Rather, it is a way to increase the chances that other treatments will be successful. In basic terms, it is designed to enhance and more precisely time the natural process of ovulation in the hopes that an introduced sperm will fertilize one or more eggs.
For IVF patients, COH greatly increases the likelihood that more than one healthy egg can be harvested at once. This ultimately increases the opportunities for a successful fertilization in the laboratory, and successful introduction of an embryo into a patient's uterus. COH medications also allow our fertility specialists to control when a patient ovulates, and to harvest eggs or introduce sperm at the proper time. This type of treatment is only for patients who are naturally producing healthy eggs, and have a healthy uterus and fallopian tubes. COH can be used to help couples affected by male factor and female factor infertility.
The COH Process
In the first stage of COH, our specialists will inject patients with a follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH. The ovarian follicles are groups of cells that are responsible for producing a single oocyte, or female egg, at a time. FSH injections stimulate multiple follicular groups to produce multiple eggs, rather than the single egg that is produced during natural ovulation. In addition to FSH injections, our fertility specialists may also provide injections of the luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the follicle to produce estrogen and makes the uterus more hospitable to sperm and egg alike.
Once a patient's ovarian follicles have fully matured, our specialists will provide human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG helps the ovarian follicles to release their eggs so that they can be harvested or inseminated. This usually occurs 36 to 48 hours following the injection. During follicle stimulation and egg retrieval, we will utilize ultrasound monitoring to determine the optimal time to harvest eggs, or introduce sperm through IUI or artificial insemination.
Parenthood is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer, and we proudly use the most advanced techniques to help hopeful parents conceive. We will carefully review your case to determine the treatment or combination of treatments that can help you realize your dream of parenthood. To learn more about COH, contact The Fertility Institute today and schedule an appointment.