Infertility is frequently caused by anovulatory failure. The main symptom of it is having an irregular period, which is brought on by hormonal abnormalities. Often, anovulation can be managed with medicine and/or a change in lifestyle.
The inability of the ovary to release an egg over a period of time typically longer than three months is known as anovulatory failure. Every 25–28 days, a healthy ovary releases one ovum. Especially during puberty and the perimenopause stage, this average interval between ovulation occurrences varies. Anovulation is regarded as abnormal and a contributing factor to infertility in 30% of fertility patients who are non-pregnant women between the ages of 16 and 40.
The irregularity or absence of menstrual cycles is one of the primary indicators of anovulation. Menstruation and ovulation follow a predictable pattern, which is regulated by a cyclic change in hormone levels. As a result, rather than focusing entirely on the amenorrhea symptom, the diagnosis of ovulation dysfunction also considers the hormones and systems involved in ovulation.
Anywhere along the sequence, a disruption of this series of events can lead to anova. Anovulation is also brought on by external variables that have an impact on the hypothalamus and central nervous system, such as stress and diet.
How common is anovulation?
About 25% of cases of infertility are brought on by anovulation, a common disorder. Anovulation affects approximately 1 in 10 of those with ovaries who are of childbearing age at some point in their life.
What are the signs and symptoms of anovulation?
You can be made aware of the symptoms and general signals of anovulation by being aware of the general ovulation signs and by keeping track of your menstrual cycles. It's essential to keep in mind that getting your period doesn't always indicate that you've ovulated. Anovulation may show the following signs and symptoms:
Irregular periods: Your menstruation is considered irregular if the interval between cycles is uncertain. Menstrual cycles typically last 28 days. However it might be a few days shorter or longer than that.
Missed periods (amenorrhea): Anovulation may be indicated by missing one or more periods without being pregnant.
Very heavy or light periods: A heavy menstruation is one that lasts longer than seven days and/or involves losing more than 16 tablespoons (80 mL) of blood during the period. A light period is one in which you lose little more than four teaspoons (20 mL) of blood throughout your cycle.
Lack of cervical mucus: Cervical mucus is the vaginal discharge that is most prevalent just before and during ovulation. Most of the time, it resembles raw egg whites. You might be going through anovulation if you don't experience this discharge.
Irregular basal body temperature: When you are completely at rest, you are at your basal body temperature. It's often taken right after you wake up and before you engage in any physical exercise or movement. Your basal body temperature could rise slightly during ovulation.
What tests will be done to diagnose anovulation?
Depending on what your healthcare provider believes is causing your anovulation, other tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Anovulation can be diagnosed with the following tests:
An ultrasound of your reproductive organs
Checking the progesterone, thyroid and prolactin levels of the blood
If you're showing symptoms of a certain hormone imbalance disorder, your doctor may ask you to undergo more tests. This is because many of the hormone abnormalities that lead to anovulation include additional symptoms.
The first step to overcoming anovulatory disorders can be making lifestyle changes.
We advise ladies who deal with obesity or a high BMI and also women with a low BMI (very low body weight) to adjust their lifestyles in order to achieve a healthier weight. For anovulant women, this can be particularly challenging, thus assistance like nutritional counselling may be beneficial.
It is best to change those habits for people whose anovulation is caused by considerable exercise. Similar to men, women with high levels of stress may benefit from help with stress management.
There are a lot of diets for boosting fertility. The fertility diet that a woman can stick to over the long term is ultimately the best. Many women attempt a difficult diet, shed a few pounds, but are unable to stick with it. Talking to others, exchanging recipes and advice, and other forms of social support can be quite beneficial at this time.
A practical exercise programme is beneficial, much like an achievable and practical diet. Once more, social support in the form of group activities like going for walks or to the gym may increase the likelihood that an activity will be maintained.
Medical Intervention in Anovulation
We often advise patients to combine medical care with lifestyle changes. It is possible to be prescribed medicines like clomiphene citrate, aromatase inhibitors, insulin-sensitizing medications, or gonadotropins. In some cases, getting pregnant may be encouraged using IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Additionally, better nutrition, exercise, and stress management can help with your pregnancy.
Although anovulation is a common contributing factor to infertility, it is treatable. When you're ready to start a family, consult a fertility specialist who can help you identify the best course of action to restart your ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant.