Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fertility 101: Problems with Ovulation

In a previous post I gave you the 411 on how ovulation SHOULD work. But sometimes it doesn't go as planned, and those little eggies don't get the memo.  There are several reasons why this may happen, some of which can be easily treated.

Anovulation is when the ovary doesn't release an egg for over three months (as opposed to once every 25-28 days). While the time between ovulation can vary quite a bit during puberty and right before menopause, for non-pregnant women ages 16-40, not ovulating is not the norm and can be the cause of infertility. In fact, in 1 out of 3 women having trouble getting pregnant anovulation is the problem.

Irregular/Infrequent Ovulation could also be the problem. This is when you don't ovulate every month.

Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is when you stop ovulating regularly before you hit the big 4-0. You basically ovulate less often and  your periods are all over the place, and some can get menopause-like symptoms.

How would you know if you are having ovulation issues? Most times your period will be all out of whack, if it comes at all. Your period might be very light or very heavy, or you may not have the usual fun period symptoms like bloating and boob pain. A lady parts doctor will want you to keep track of your periods (there are plenty of apps for that), and may want to do some blood work and ultrasounds to see if you are actually ovulating.

Ovulation problems can happen for a variety of reasons. Hormone imbalances, structural problems (like an ovarian cyst), thyroid issues, being over or underweight, or even just stress can throw ovulation off. It is important to first understand the reason you may not be ovulating before you treat it.

If you are trying to get pregnant, get an period tracking app, start peeing on ovulation sticks, and take it from there. And as always, check in with your lady parts doctor if you suspect anything is off!

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