Understanding and Coping With Ovulation Dysfunction
How Ovulation Works
Ovulation involves a complex interaction of hormones released by the brain, pituitary gland and ovaries. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen and progesterone are just a few of the hormones that play a role in ovulation.
Any condition interfering with the ovaries’ ability to release a mature egg is considered an ovulatory disorder.
Conditions Linked to Ovulation Dysfunction
Causes of ovulatory disorder include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – ovarian cysts associated with high testosterone and other male hormones and sometimes increased insulin levels.
- Menopause – Women are born with a lifetime supply of eggs that diminish in quantity and quality over time. Fertility naturally decreases with age.
- Premature ovarian failure – depletion of egg supply before age 40
- Hyperprolactinemia – increased prolactin resulting in menstrual abnormalities and infertility
- Thyroid Dysfunction – thyroid hormone plays an important role in ovulation and menstruation
Excessive exercise, and being underweight or overweight can also interfere with ovulation.
Diagnosing Ovulation Dysfunction
Many women track ovulation with over-the-counter home kits, which are very accurate and help identify ovulation patterns. Diagnosis requires a medical examination, history and physical. Other tests include transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy and blood tests to evaluate hormone levels.
Treatment of Ovulation Dysfunction
If ovulation dysfunction is discovered, the following treatments may be indicated:
- Medications – including Insulin, Metformin, thyroid or other hormonal drugs
- Fertility drugs – Clomid, Ovidrel, HCG injections and others help stimulate ovulation
- Donor egg IVF – in severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments
DFW Fertility Associates treats women with ovulation dysfunction in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, Denton and their surrounding areas.