What You Need To Know About Anovulation A Common And Treatable Cause Of Infertility

Editorial Team

All around the world a lot of people are dealing with infertility. Infertility is a global problem that happens both women and men regardless of where you are. According to Mayo Clinic, Infertility is defined as trying to get pregnant (with frequent intercourse) for at least a year with no success.When a woman is trying to get pregnant the first thing to take note is her ovulation. After all, in order to become pregnant, you first must ovulate.

It’s common to assume that your period is a sign that you’re ovulating normally. But surprisingly, that’s not always the case. Wikipedia defines Anovulation has when the ovaries do not release an oocyte during a menstrual cycle. An oocyte is the immature ovum that the sperm fertilizes during reproduction. Therefore, if the oocyte is not released ovulation does not take place. However, a woman who does not ovulate at each menstrual cycle is not necessarily going through menopause. Chronic anovulation is a common cause of infertility.

According to Healthline, in a normal situation a woman’s reproductive system will ovulate every month. But there can be situations that cause anovulation, or the lack of ovulation in a menstrual cycle. When that happens, you may still assume that the bleeding you’ve experienced was your monthly menstrual cycle. But if you’ve had an anovulatory cycle, it isn’t technically a period.

In a normal cycle, the production of progesterone is stimulated by the release of an egg. It’s this hormone that helps a woman’s body maintain regular periods. But during an anovulatory cycle, an insufficient level of progesterone can lead to heavy bleeding. A woman may mistake this bleeding for a real period. This kind of bleeding may also be caused by a buildup in the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, which can no longer sustain itself. It can be caused by a drop in estrogen as well.

According to Fertility Authority, while you may still get your period, your ovary is not releasing a ripened egg. This affects pregnancy rates because an egg needs to ovulate in order to fertilize with sperm and implant in the uterus. In fact, about 40 percent of infertility in women is related to cycles that do not ovulate. Anovulation can be caused by a number of things, including diet and exercise, obesity and advanced maternal age, but the most common cause is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman's female sex hormones.

Usually, women who are not ovulating properly will have irregular periods. If your cycle is short or long, it may indicate ovulation dysfunction.  As reported by Healthline, sudden changes to hormone levels can trigger anovulatory cycles. Other causes include:

  • body weight that’s too high or too low
  • extreme exercise habits
  • eating habits
  • high levels of stress

If you’re having a period every 24 to 35 days, it’s likely that you’re ovulating normally. Diagnosing an anovulatory cycle can be simple when a woman has no period, or periods that come very erratically. But that’s not the case for every woman. Fortunately, there are a few things your doctor can check, including:

  • your progesterone levels
  • the lining of your uterus
  • your blood for the presence of certain antibodies

Your doctor may also perform an ultrasound to take a closer look at your uterus and ovaries. The findings from these tests will help your doctor recommend the best treatment for you.

If these cycles are related to an outside influence like nutrition or lifestyle, effective treatments will include regulating eating habits and moderating physical activities. Making changes to your weight (gaining or losing weight as directed by your doctor) may also be enough to jump-start stalled ovulation.

Sometimes internal imbalances are the reason a woman is experiencing anovulatory cycles. In that case, your doctor may prescribe medications for fertility. These medications are designed to combat the cause of a woman’s infertility. There are drugs designed to ripen the follicles, increase estrogen, and help the ovaries release an egg. Surgery is an option in the event that a serious complication, such as a tumor, is discovered.

Even though Anovulation is a very common and serious cause of infertility, it is treatable and so it is important that we pay attention to it. If you are trying to have a baby monitor your menstral cycle if you find out that is irregular or missed periods, tell your doctor so he/she can run tests for you and you can start taking medication.  

 

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