Ovulation disorder is when the ovaries are not functioning correctly, and you do not have a regular menstrual cycle, which is a result of an unfertilised oocyte. This cycle includes your ovulation and fertility period. Without ovulation, you cannot get pregnant naturally.
Ovulation problems are usually caused because of a problem with the reproductive hormones. The pituitary gland is not regulating the hormones correctly and causing interference in the regular ovulation cycle.
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There are many different types of ovulation disorder that women suffer from. Some of the types of ovulation disorders are:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): This is a problem caused due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. Women who suffer from PCOS have high levels of male testosterone and tend to have excessive facial hair growth as well as excessive hair in various parts of the body. PCOS is linked to insulin resistance and also being overweight. Some women who suffer from PCOS also suffer from an acute acne problem. PCOS is a common condition among young women nowadays.
Hypothalamic dysfunction: The female body produces two hormones which are instrumental in stimulating the ovaries to ovulate every cycle. These are FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH). The release of these hormones is easily affected by factors such as stress, sudden weight loss or weight gain. A person who is excessively overweight or very thin can also suffer from an imbalance of these hormones due to their physical body state.
Premature ovarian failure: All women are born with a specific number of eggs which are slowly released throughout their life from puberty to menopause. Premature ovarian failure is a condition where the eggs in the ovary are prematurely lost due to genetics or some medical treatment like chemotherapy. The ovary stops producing eggs and the level of oestrogen produced by the body also reduces. Primary ovarian insufficiency is considered a fertility issue when it affects women under the age of 40.
Excess prolactin: When the body produces higher levels of prolactin, it reduces the level of oestrogen, which could cause infertility. This is usually a problem related to the pituitary gland. Most often, it is caused when a person is taking some strong medication to treat some other medical condition.
Before taking any prescribed medication, it is now becoming essential to check with the doctor regarding the side effects it could have on fertility. Many cases of infertility, today, are due to the after-effects of medical treatment or due to the harsh effects of the prescribed drugs. Cancer treatment is one of the most disastrous with numerous side effects, including infertility. Younger cancer patients have advised fertility preservation before taking chemotherapy.
Almost 25% of couples who are infertile suffer from ovulation disorders. The unfortunate part is that most women are not even aware that they are infertile or have an ovulation disorder until they want to start a family. At times the couple can be getting on in years as they planned for delayed parenthood, only to find out that they have fertility problems and conceiving is not going to be such a simple task after all.
Advancements in medical sciences, especially in the fertility section, have now made it possible for women with ovulation disorders to also have children with the IVF technique. Hormone injections are given to stimulate the ovaries to mature eggs, which are then extracted and fertilised in the laboratory with the male partner’s sperm under the expert supervision of an embryologist. The fertilised embryo is then transferred to the female partner’s uterus.
Hormones are administered to women with ovulation disorders to regulate the body’s requirement and allow the reproductive organs to function normally. Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Hypothalamic dysfunction can now have hormone injections to normalize their internal hormone levels.