When a woman has irregular, infrequent (less than nine per year) menstrual periods or does not ovulate at all, she is said to have ovulatory dysfunction. Normally, one ovary releases an egg each month, which may be fertilized if it comes into contact with sperm. A woman with ovulatory dysfunction does not release an egg each month.
Ovulatory dysfunction may be caused by a problem with the part of the brain and the glands that control ovulation, or from a problem with the ovaries themselves.
Other potential causes of this condition include:
- Early menopause
- Extreme weight loss
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Strenuous exercise
- Using certain medications, such as estrogens, progestins, and antidepressants
- Sporadic, irregular periods
- Inability to get pregnant (infertility)
Your doctor will likely prescribe a medication – such as clomiphene, letrozole, or human gonadotropins – to make your body ovulate. The specific medication that you take depends on the issue that is causing your ovulatory dysfunction.
A complete physical examination (including a Pap smear and testing for infection) will be necessary.
Medical and Sexual History
Your doctor evaluates all possible physical causes of infertility and if sexual intercourse has been appropriately timed.
Hormone testing may be recommended, as certain hormones increase and decrease in production at various times.
If your doctor suspects you are not ovulating regularly, you may need to undergo a specialized evaluation that checks your body temperature and ovulation – known as the basal body temperature chart. Another method of predicting and analyzing ovulation is with urine samples.
Why Choose UHealth?
A comprehensive approach to fertility. Our closely-knit team of experienced professionals – including female and male fertility specialists, acupuncturists, and physicians with special expertise in PCOS, thyroid disorders, endometriosis, and hormonal imbalances – work together to ensure the health of you and your baby.
High pregnancy rates. We have some of the highest pregnancy rates in not only South Florida, but in the entire United States. Our success stories include even the most challenging cases.
Academic medical center expertise. Faculty members at the Miller School of Medicine, a nationally recognized institution, currently conduct nearly 2,000 research projects in science and clinical care in a variety of fields. Our emphasis on research and innovation ensures you receive the most sophisticated diagnostic tests and advanced fertility treatments available.
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