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Ovulatory Disorders

Ovulatory Disorders


Ovulatory disorders are one of the leading causes of female infertility. The main factor in diagnosing an ovulatory disorder is medical history, though temperature charts, blood tests and ultrasounds are sometimes performed to confirm a diagnosis.

Ovulatory dysfunction can manifest itself as the absence of menses (anovulation) or irregular, sometimes infrequent, menses. Anovulation is a condition in which eggs are not developed properly, or are not released from the egg sacs, or follicles, of the ovaries. Women who suffer from anovulation may not menstruate for several months or may continue to menstruate regularly even though they are not ovulating. The cause of anovulation is often unknown. However, in some cases the disorder can be traced back to an eating disorder, hormonal imbalance, excessive exercise, thyroid dysfunction, insulin resistance or other medical disorders.

The physicians at Aakash will examine your medical history and test results thoroughly before making an ovulatory disorder diagnosis. Based on the diagnosis, your physician will work with you to determine the treatment plan that will be most effective for your situation. When possible, the underlying cause of the ovulatory disorder is treated; when no cause is found, ovulation-inducing medications are prescribed as treatment.

Ovulation disorders, infrequent or absent ovulation (anovulation), typically result in infrequent periods (oligomenorrhea). The results are

  • fewer opportunities to conceive
  • difficulty detecting a woman’s fertile periods
  • eggs not breaking through the follicle
  • eggs being released off-sync with other factors crucial to fertilization or implantation

SOME TYPICAL CAUSES OF OVULATION DISORDERS

  • Hypothalamus dysfunction
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Luteal phase defect
  • Tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands or ovaries

LESS TYPICAL CAUSES OF OVULATION DISORDER

  • Primary ovarian failure (POF)
  • Resistant ovary syndrome
  • Autoimmune oophoritis

DIAGNOSIS

In general, assessment for ovulation disorders may begin with the following lab tests:

Serum FSH
Serum LH
Serum prolactin
Serum testosterone
Free androgen index
and may also include:

CAT scan or MRI scan of pituitary and hypothalamus
Endometrial biopsy
Ovarian biopsy
more specific antibody tests (antithyroid, adrenal, islet-cell, gastric parietal cell)

TREATMENT

Treatments vary with the conclusion after diagnostic testing. In general, the treatments may include:

Use of ovulation-inducing fertility medications
Use of other drugs more specific to the diagnosed cause
Nutritional adjustment
Stress reduction
Surgery (in the case of tumors)
Only primary ovarian failure, and the related conditions of resistant ovary syndrome and autoimmune oophoritis, are considered untreatable in regards to fertility.
Ovulatory disorders are one of the leading causes of infertility. Anovulation (no ovulation) is a disorder in which eggs do not develop properly, or are not released from the follicles of the ovaries. Women who have this disorder may not menstruate for several months. Others may menstruate even though they are not ovulating. Although anovulation may result from hormonal imbalances, eating disorders, and other medical disorders, the cause is often unknown. Women athletes who exercise excessively may also stop ovulating.

Oligo-ovulation (ol-I-go-ov-u-LA-shun) is a disorder in which ovulation doesn’t occur on a regular basis, and your menstrual cycle may be longer than the normal cycle of 21 to 35 days.

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