The clinical use of medical induction of ovulation in normogonadotrophic anovulatory women (WHO II), including polycystic ovary syndrome, is increasingly questioned. However, we believe that this treatment modality still represents a highly effective means of fertility treatment in women with low pregnancy chances without intervention. A conventional treatment algorithm involving clomiphene citrate (CC) followed by FSH induction of ovulation may result in a 71% cumulative singleton live birth rate. In attempts to improve treatment outcome further and reduce complication rates, new compounds such as insulin-sensitizing agents or aromatase inhibitors are currently used increasingly. Approaches such as patient selection for different treatment modalities on the basis of initial screening characteristics and alternative protocols for FSH ovulation induction may also be proposed to render treatment algorithms more patient tailored and therefore improve overall outcomes. More research is needed in this area, rather than referring these patients to assisted reproduction prematurely. This may lead to a more individually tailored approach for ovulation induction in a given patient, resulting in a further improvement of the balance between chances for success versus complications.

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Human Reproduction
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Santbrink, E., & Fauser, B. (2003). Is there a future for ovulation induction in the current era of assisted reproduction?. Human Reproduction. Retrieved from