Anovulation is a cycle in which a woman does not ovulate, or does not release an egg(s). Some women have many, or all, cycles in which they do not ovulate. Most of the time there is no menstrual bleeding, or if there is bleeding, it is because of the low estrogen, and is called "breakthrough bleeding." Many times a woman will see this bleeding and assume that she is ovulating.
There can be many reasons why a woman does not ovulate. And most of the time, a doctor can prescribe drugs that will bring on ovulation. A woman who does have some bleeding once a month would never know she was anovulatory unless she was charting her basal body temperature. A chart would look very erratic - with the temperature jumping all over the place - with no upward shift to identify ovulation.
Some of the reasons for anovulation are:
- coming off the pill (or other hormones such as Depo-Provera)
- strenuous exercise
- excessive weight gain or loss
- medical conditions
- pituitary gland problems
- and polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS)
This can be very disheartening if you are trying to conceive. But relax, and know that there is help.
The first thing you want to do, if you suspect anovulation, is to see your doctor. He/she can run a series of tests to check hormone levels. Your doctor may want to prescribe fertility drugs which bring on ovulation. The most widely prescribed drug is Clomid or Pergonal. These are usually prescribed in small doses to give the body a chance to ovulate, and then the dosage is gradually increased until ovulation occurs. Some women will ovulate only with the help of these drugs. Of the two, Clomid is the least invasive and is usually prescribed when the root of infertility cannot be determined.
If there is no menstrual bleeding, a drug called Provera, or a similar drug, is given to induce menstruation. Once ovulation has been established, the doctor can better tell if additional help is needed.
There are several natural herbs that can help to bring on ovulation. Please, always seek the advice of your doctor before trying any form of home treatment.
Vitex can help to regulate the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and aids in ovulation. Check the bottle to dosage instructions. It is not recommended to take Vitex in conjunction with Clomid. A good dose of vitamin B6 can help to lengthen the luteal phase, and aids in fertility. Evening Primrose Oil taken before expected ovulation can aid in the production of egg-white cervical fluid, which is the most fertile fluid.
Be glad that, in this day and age, anovulation is not a reason for infertility. With the advances in technology and medicine, there are things that can be done to help nature along. The first step is charting, and be sure to schedule an appointment to see your physician.
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