Ovulation disorder is a term that describes a group of disorders in which ovulation fails to occur, or occurs on an irregular basis. Abnormal menstrual cycles – characterised by unusually frequent or infrequent periods, and/or irregular cycle lengths – are usually the clearest indication of an ovulation disorder being present. Thus women with irregular menstrual periods almost always have an ovulation disorder. All women with regular menstrual cycles still may not be ovulating properly or correctly and minor hormonal imbalance may be present leading to an ovulation problem. Thus even women with regular cycles need evaluation of whether they are ovulating normally if they have been unable to conceive for more than 6 months. Ovulation Ovulation is a phase in the menstrual cycle in which a mature egg is released from the ovary every month. Ovulation Phase Approximately every month an egg will mature within one of woman’s ovaries from mature follicles. Afterward, released egg enters in the fallopian tube for fertilization with sperm. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining, as well as blood, will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation. Ovulation usually occurs between 12 and 14 days before your period starts. This is an average, so it could be a couple of days earlier or later. Causes of Ovulation Disorders A number of factors can influence ovulation cycle. Some of the general factors include:
- Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS)
- Disorders of the pituitary, adrenal or thyroid glands leads hormonal imbalance
- Elevated Prolactin levels
- Ovarian conditions (Polycystic ovary, Endometriosis, Autoimmune Disease)
- Ovary is absent or has no eggs
- Excessive exercise
- Certain drugs (such as Estrogens and Progestins and Antidepressants)
- Weight loss
- Psychological stress
Diagnosis of Ovulation Disorder associated Infertility There are various diagnostic techniques available to identify the main cause of ovulation disorder associated infertility. Certified Infertility Experts are specialized to diagnose ovulation disorders step by step:
1. Review entire Medical history and Menstrual history
2. Perform Physical & Pelvic examination
3. Hormone Screening- The woman’s blood and/or urine will be tested to check the levels of various hormones (LH, FSH, Prolactin) necessary for ovulation and implantation.
4. Endometrial Biopsy – This test is used to see if the woman has a hormonal imbalance that prevents her from sustaining a pregnancy.
5. Ovarian Reserve Testing- This testing helps determine the quality and quantity of eggs available for ovulation. Depending on the results of laboratory testing, Certified Infertility Expert further recommended the following scan
6. CT scan or MRI scan: Used to scan pituitary gland and hypothalamus to check any abnormality. Indicated in specific conditions only. After the outcomes of scan, Certified Infertility Expert suggested the following techniques:
7.Ultrasound – Used to evaluate ovarian function.
8. Laparoscopy – Minimally invasive surgery used to identify endometriosis, scarring, blockages or irregularities of the fallopian tubes, and problems with the ovaries.
9. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – It is an x ray procedure in order to assess the anatomy of the endometrial cavity and the fallopian tubes. Treatment of Ovulation Disorder associated Infertility Fortunately, majority of ovulation disorders can be treated by medicines alone. Most of the ovulation disorders treatment has the same goal: To trigger ovulation. The type of treatment that will be administered depends on the cause of ovulation disorder. Certified Infertility Expert outlines the Ovulation disorder associated infertility treatment into the following categories:
1. Medical Treatment: Infertility due to disorders with ovulation can often be corrected with various fertility treatments that lead to the growth and development of a mature egg that will ovulate. Ex. Clomiphene or Clomiphene Citrate, Gonadotropins or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), Bromocriptine or Cabergoline.
2. Surgical Treatment: Used to remove cysts in ovary, can repair the fallopian tubes or remove blockages in fallopian tubes.
3. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): Certified Infertility Expert can treat ovulation disorders with IVF treatment if fertility drugs and surgical treatments have failed. If women have been unable to become pregnant after trying for at least one year, then she should immediately contact a well qualified & Certified infertility Expert. A Certified infertility Expert can easily detect whether women have an ovulation disorder that is affecting her ability to conceive.