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Ovulation Problems and Infertility

By Vicken Sahakian, M.D. on October 19, 2018

An ovaryInfertility treatments can help those who have been unable to become pregnant or stay pregnant realize their dreams of adding to their family.

There are many possible causes of infertility. One common issue for infertility in women concerns ovulation. At Pacific Fertility Center, our team of fertility doctors offers the most advanced treatments to help women overcome ovulation problems and infertility.

If you live in or around Los Angeles, CA and would like to learn more about fertility treatments, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Ovulation

In the simplest terms, ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. Ovulation is regulated by hormones within the body. When the hormones are properly balanced, ovulation will occur around the 14th day of a woman's menstrual cycle.

For some women, hormonal imbalances and other conditions can interfere with ovulation. This can cause irregular periods and make it difficult to become pregnant. Fertility treatment can help balance hormones and address ovulation problems, making it possible for many women with ovulation issues conceive.

Let's take a closer look at some common ovulation problems that can cause infertility.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common ovulation problem. PCOS is described as a hormonal imbalance that can affect ovarian function. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries covered with tiny cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs.

Women with PCOS may experience the following symptoms:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Irregular or no ovulation
  • High blood pressure
  • Thinning hair
  • Excessive hair growth on the face or body
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Weight gain

High Stress Levels

For some women, the stress of trying to conceive can actually interfere with their ability to get pregnant. Stress can significantly impact how the hypothalamus, the gland in the brain responsible for regulating the hormones needed for ovulation, functions.

When stress levels are high enough to impact the hypothalamus, ovulation may be delayed or not occur at all.

Diabetes

Diabetes impacts how the body processes sugar, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Not all women with diabetes experience ovulation problems, but some have irregular periods and irregular ovulation, especially when diabetes is not well controlled.

Obesity

Obesity, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher, is believed to be linked to ovulation problems.

Being overweight can interfere with the body's regulation of hormones, causing hormonal imbalances and other abnormalities with hormones. This in turn can impact ovulation, causing some obese women not to ovulate.

Obesity is also linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While it is not certain if obesity causes PCOS, it has been observed that women who are overweight are more likely to suffer from PCOS. Women who are both obese and have PCOS may face greater ovulation problems and infertility issues as a result.

Ovulation Induction Can Help Overcome Ovulation Problems

Many ovulation problems are a result of hormonal imbalances. Fortunately, there are fertility medications and treatments, specifically ovulation induction, available to balance hormonal levels and encourage proper ovulation.

With ovulation induction, medications may be given orally or through injections. The medications include gonadotropins or clomiphene citrate, which simulate the body's natural hormones that stimulate ovulation.

While for some women, ovulation induction may be enough to overcome infertility, others may need additional treatments, such as in vitro fertilization.

Learn More about Fertility Treatments

If you have irregular periods or ovulation problems and have had difficulty becoming pregnant, fertility treatment may be right for you. For more information about your treatment options, please call (310) 209-7700 to schedule a consultation.

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