When it comes to infertility issues, ovulatory disorders are one of the leading causes of women not being able to get pregnant. While some ovulation problems can be diagnosed, such as early menopause, still others will remain unknown.
But just what are ovulatory disorders and how do they affect fertility and your ability to conceive naturally? Infertility problems happen when you stop ovulating, making it difficult if not impossible for you to conceive.
There is much research being done that suggests that some of the most common causes of ovulatory problems are related to hormone imbalances in the body.
It’s important that your doctor doesn’t just treat the symptoms of ovulation problems, but looks for the causes as well to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Determining if You Have any Ovulatory Disorders
Symptoms of ovulation issues include infrequent or irregular or no menstrual period at all.
One of the problems with diagnosing any problems you might be having with ovulation is that you may continue to have regular menstrual cycles and still not be ovulating.
This can often be hard to diagnose. There are many issues that can lead to problems with ovulation. The first step to diagnosis is talking to your doctor about the difficulty you’re having getting pregnant.
You’ll be given a thorough physical exam which includes an analysis of your medical history and family medical history.
You’ll also be given blood tests to measure hormone and insulin levels and to determine if your thyroid is over or underactive. These are the first steps in finding out what’s affecting your ovulation cycle.
With so many advances in technology and medicine today regarding reproductive endocrinology, ovulation is becoming possible for up to 75 percent of women being treated for this disorder.
Different Types of Ovulation Issues
There are some medical issues that cause ovulatory disorders. Some of these disorders include the following:
- Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOS): Cysts located on the ovaries will lead to ovulation problems. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, amenorrhea (no period), excessive weight gain, body and facial hair growth, and severe pelvic pain.
- Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism: Low or high levels of the thyroid hormone can lead to irregular ovulation. Testing for this disorder is done through a simple blood test.
- Hyperprolactinemia: Elevated levels of the prolactin hormone can cause ovulatory disorders. This hormone is responsible for the production of breast milk and when it’s present in high levels in women who aren’t pregnant, the body can be deceived into thinking that pregnancy has happened and so there is no need to ovulate.
- Adrenal Dysfunctions: Abnormal levels of androgens, which are produced by the adrenal glands, can cause irregular ovulation. As well, high levels of androgens can cause tumors on the ovaries and adrenal glands.
It’s imperative that your doctor diagnoses what’s preventing your body from normal ovulation so that you can move on to treatment options to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
What Treatment Options are Available to Improve Fertility?
Once your doctor determines that it’s an ovulatory disorder that might be preventing you from getting pregnant, you can move on to treatment methods.
Typically the first line of treatment when it comes to ovulation issues is fertility drugs. Your doctor will decide which medication, or a combination of drugs, is best for your specific issue.
There are a number of drugs which can stimulate egg development and follicle growth with the intent of inducing ovulation.
For the most part, drug treatment is short-term, lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
If your eggs are of good quality and you don’t exhibit any other fertility issues, medication can lead to ovulation and allow you to get pregnant.
One of the most common fertility drugs in use today is clomiphene citrate, which is sold under the names Serophene or Clomid.
This drug activates the pituitary glands to release hormones which help in ripening follicles so that an egg is produced.
You’ll take Clomid for five days when your period begins to stimulate ovulation.
Research shows that ovulation is triggered in about 50 per cent of women who take Clomid, providing they don’t have any other infertility issues other than lack of ovulation.
Is There a Simple Reason You’re Not Ovulating?
While there are many medical reasons why you’re experiencing ovulatory problems that are keeping you from getting pregnant, the answer could be a simple one.
Many women stop ovulating for the following reasons: eating disorders, severe stress, excessive weight loss or weight gain, and excessive exercise.
If you’re affected by any of these factors, solving your ovulation problem may start by making changes to your lifestyle. Get off the weight loss/weight gain rollercoaster.
Start eating healthy and avoid exercising too much or not at all. Many women who were unable to get pregnant were able to conceive after making some healthy changes to their life.