Ovulation abnormalities are the most common cause of infertility in women: irregular cycles, absence of periods. When ovulation is rare or of poor quality, the chances of pregnancy are significantly reduced. Explanations.
When ovulation is absent or irregular
You’ve decided to have a baby. But since you stopped taking the pill, you feel that something is wrong. Your period hasn’t returned. And after thinking about it, you remember that you had little problems with your cycles even when you were younger. If these problems continue without resulting in pregnancy, you may have an ovulation disorder. This problem is the most common cause of infertility in women. It usually results in irregular, very long cycles or no cycles at all. But don’t jump to conclusions! First of all, consult your gynecologist so that he can take stock of the situation. He will perform an ultrasound to see the state of your ovaries and, based on this, will be able to decide which additional tests to prescribe. To detect whether ovulation is taking place, you will need to take hormone measurements (blood tests) and analyze your temperature curve.
Ovulation abnormalities: what causes them?
- The ovary malfunctions
Some abnormalities are due to a malfunction of the ovary itself. This results in irregular or short menstrual cycles or no ovulation. Ovarian dysfunction can be total if the ovaries are absent or atrophied following heavy treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy). Sometimes it can be due to a chromosomal abnormality (Turner syndrome) or early menopause (when ovarian reserves are exhausted before the age of 40). In these extreme situations, ovulation cannot be restored, and the only way to get pregnant is to turn to egg donation.
- Thyroid dysfunction
Sometimes you need to look at the thyroid or adrenal gland when you are unable to conceive. Thyroid dysfunction, which manifests itself as hyper or hypothyroidism, can disrupt hormonal balance and ovulation. Thyroid problems are currently underestimated, although they are constantly on the increase. Hence the importance of being prescribed a complete check-up, including a thyroid assessment.
- A hormonal imbalance
This is the most frequent situation: hormones are lacking or, on the contrary, are too abundant. As a result, ovulation is impaired or non-existent, and menstruation is similarly disrupted.
In this type of anomaly, hormonal imbalances in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are the leading causes. These glands in the brain produce hormones that regulate a large part of our body. Sometimes they do not produce the hormones necessary for ovulation or do not produce them sufficiently. This is the case, for example, when there is insufficient production of FSH (stimulates the development of follicles) and LH (causes ovulation), or when LH levels are higher than FSH levels (when it is normally the other way around). In these cases, there is often a higher than normal production of male hormones (testosterone, DHA). This disorder can manifest itself in particular in problems of hyperpilosity. This is often the case with polycystic ovary syndrome, where LH is too high.
Polycystic or multi-follicular ovaries.
This is both the cause and the consequence of the hormonal imbalances mentioned above. Compared to the average, the woman has too many follicles (more than 10 to 15 at an advanced stage, on each ovary). There is none that matures during a menstrual cycle. This results in the absence of ovulation.
Female infertility is an inability to get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy. There are many possible causes of infertility. However, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact reason; some possible causes of female factor infertility include problems with the uterus, thyroid dysfunction, etc.
Once you are diagnosed, your provider can help you develop a plan moving forward