Have you been struggling to get a positive pregnancy test? How many pregnancy kits have you thrown out in the hopes of getting pregnant? Is trying to get pregnant leaving you disappointed every time? If you are wondering what’s wrong, there is a chance that you may not be ovulating. As you know, you need to ovulate in order to get pregnant. So if you are trying to conceive you may want to start paying closer attention to your menstrual cycle. Continue reading the article to learn about anovulation and it’s symptoms and treatment options.
What Is Anovulation?
Anovulation can be a relatively new term for many women. Ideally, a woman will be ovulating every month. During ovulation, the female reproductive organ – the ovary – releases an egg. We always assume we are ovulating by looking at our menstrual cycle. But it’s not always the case. You can experience anovulation and still bleed like your normal period. You may not ovulate during some menstrual cycle. This is known as anovulation. Though it’s uncommon for women to experience anovulation in their prime fertile years it can happen occasionally. There are chances that you would have experienced it but didn’t notice as you seemed to be bleeding normally.
In a normal menstrual cycle, an egg is released by the ovary. This is stimulated by the production of progesterone. Progesterone is responsible for maintaining regular periods in a woman’s body. However, if there is insufficient production of progesterone, it can lead to heavy bleeding during an anovulatory cycle. This bleeding is often mistaken for a period. Bleeding during anovulation can also be caused by shedding of the endometrium which will be present in the uterine lining. Another reason for bleeding is also a drop in the estrogen level (1).
Factors Causing Anovulation
A woman may experience anovulation due to several factors:
- Very low or very high body weight
- Extreme workout habits
- Too much stress
- Eating habits (2)
- Certain birth control pills
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as over-the-counter pain relievers
- Skin products that contain estrogen and progesterone
- Cancer treatments- chemotherapy, cancer drugs, radiation
- Seizure or epilepsy drugs
- Certain health conditions such as PCOS (3)
What Are The Symptoms Of Anovulation?
Women with anovulatory cycle may experience the following (4):
- An increase in the amount of cervical mucus
- Fluctuation in resting body temperature during the menstrual cycle
- Regular occurrence of periods
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosing an anovulatory cycle is not as simple when a woman doesn’t show any proper symptoms. In such cases, your doctor may need to carry out some tests to confirm the condition. Your doctor may check the hormonal levels and also carry out ultrasound scans for the same. The level of progesterone hormones will be checked as its insufficient production can lead to anovulation. Your doctor will also check the lining of the uterus by performing an ultrasound. A blood test will also be done to check for the presence of any antibodies (5).
Treatments for anovulation depends upon the findings of the test. Depending on external or internal factors, the necessary treatment will be recommended. Your doctor may ask you to follow a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food and do moderate exercise. He/she may also ask you to gain or lose some weight to restart your ovulation. Medications may also be prescribed by your doctor to combat the internal imbalances and regulate the hormone levels. It’s important to note that surgery is considered only in the case of a serious complication such as a tumor.
If you are diagnosed with anovulation, stick to your doctor’s treatment and follow the lifestyle changes to see if your monthly cycle is back on track. If you don’t find any difference or improvement, make sure to follow up with your doctor.