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Anovulation - Why Some Women Don’t Ovulate

Ovulation is necessary for getting pregnant, and some women have trouble getting pregnant because they do not ovulate (anovulation). There are several medical factors that can prevent a woman from ovulating. Many are hormonal in nature while others are caused by various environmental factors. Diagnosing what is causing you to not ovulate can be a lengthy process due to the similarity of the symptoms.

anovulation.jpgPolycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, affects women in a variety of ways including her menstrual cycle and ability to ovulate. Approximately one tenth of childbearing aged women have PCOS and the causes of the syndrome are unknown.  There are many symptoms caused by PCOS but the two that primarily affect ovulation are irregular periods and infertility.

Treatment of PCOS Related Infertility
If one of your symptoms from PCOS is irregular periods and lack of ovulation then some medications can be provided to help your body bring back normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. The medications that stimulate ovulation are not intended as birth control and typically have the effect of making it easier for women to become pregnant.   The medications Clomid and Metformin are often used either separately or in conjunction with one another to help start the ovulation process. Gonadotropins are an even stronger class of medications that can be used to treat infertility that is due to PCOS.

Other Factors
There are other factors that can cause the body to fail to produce the hormones necessary for ovulation. These include stress, a low thyroid level, and excess weight.  Most of these types of problems are easily correctable with the help of your health care provider. Additionally, the cessation of ovulation can be caused by premature menopause and by the overproduction of prolactin. The only way to know for sure what is causing you not to ovulate is to see your doctor and let him run a series of tests.

Irregular Periods
While some women may feel they are not ovulating, the ovulation prediction tests may simply not be picking up the normal ovulation patterns thanks to an irregular menstrual cycle.

Breastfeeding Moms
When a mother is breastfeeding a baby, the hormones that trigger ovulation are often suppressed. This is a natural body reaction to giving birth. The body will try to prevent further pregnancy until the baby has stopped nursing and thus the hormonal changes. While ovulation does not cease and women do have the ability to become pregnant immediately after birth in some cases, ovulation problems may occur as long as breast milk is being produced.

Permanent Infertility
There are cases where women simply will never ovulate. These cases are very rare and can be the cause of long term fertility problems. When a woman does not ovulate they cannot become pregnant.

Without ovulation there is a rare chance that conception will occur. Ovulation is the release of the mature egg from the ovary. When ovulation problems persist, the gynecologist may need to perform a variety of tests in order to realize the reason for the lack of ovulation. In some cases, ovulation will not occur due to permanent infertility.

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