What You Should Know about Anovulation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

During ovulation, a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries, significantly increasing the chances of pregnancy. But did you know that some women may experience the absence of ovulation? This condition is known as anovulation and can impact fertility and reproductive health, potentially leading to complications. The diagnosis of female infertility associated with anovulation typically involves a medical history review, physical examination and various tests. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about anovulation, from the causes, symptoms and treatment, to providing deeper insight into this topic.

What Causes Anovulation? 

In general, anovulation stems from an imbalance in one or more hormones crucial for ovulation. Disruptions in the delicate interplay of these hormones can interfere with the development and release of a mature egg from the ovary. Below are some key examples of hormonal imbalances that may result in anovulation.

High levels of androgens

Androgens are a group of hormones primarily responsible for male traits and reproductive activity, although they are also present in females in smaller amounts. High androgen levels can interfere with the normal development and release of eggs from the ovaries, leading to irregular or absent ovulation.

Pituitary gland dysfunction

Pituitary gland dysfunction refers to abnormalities in the function of the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain that produces and regulates various hormones essential for the body’s growth, metabolism, and reproductive function. This can disrupt the secretion of certain hormones, which are crucial for stimulating ovarian follicle development and triggering ovulation.

High levels of prolactin 

Prolactin is a hormone primarily responsible for lactation and milk production in breastfeeding women. Elevated levels of prolactin, also known as hyperprolactinemia, can affect normal menstrual cycles and ovulation.

Low levels of thyroid hormones

Thyroid hormones are essential for regulating metabolism, growth and development throughout the body. A decreased production can impair the release of reproductive hormones necessary for ovulation and fertility support.

Low levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone  

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus, a region of the brain. It regulates the release of two important reproductive hormones from the pituitary gland that stimulate ovulation. Dysfunction or irregular secretion of GnRH can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle and contribute to anovulation.

Learn more: Top 5 Tips To Balance Your Hormones Naturally Before Pregnancy

What Are the Symptoms of Anovulation? 

Anovulation symptoms are usually associated with the menstrual cycle because this condition influences the hormonal processes that control menstruation. Common symptoms include late or irregular periods, spotting mid-cycle or a period that lasts longer than usual. Additionally, since the hormones are affected, acne, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), or weight fluctuations may also manifest in conjunction with menstrual irregularities. 

How Is Anovulation Treated?

Women Patient Talking to Doctor

While anovulation can be stressful and worrisome, there are fortunately several treatment options to help address this condition. Hormonal medications may be prescribed to induce ovulation or regulate menstrual cycles. It is always recommended to consult your healthcare professional before taking any form of medication. 

Patients can also manage anovulation with lifestyle changes. Minimising stress through techniques such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness regulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which is crucial for ovulation. Maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise improves hormonal balance and enhances ovulatory function as well. If you are one to engage in intense or excessive exercise, try reducing the frequency and intensity of workouts to prevent disruptions in menstrual cycles and promote regular ovulation.

Woman Doing Yoga

For those who are experiencing infertility related to anovulation, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) can help to increase female fertility. During this process, a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with hormonal medications to produce multiple eggs, which are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure. These eggs are then fertilised with sperm and the embryos are left to culture for a few days. Once developed, one or more embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus, with any remaining typically frozen for future use.

Infertility is a discouraging and frustrating obstacle to overcome, especially for women who are trying to conceive. However, the right treatment plan in combination with guidance from a professional can make all the difference in changing this course for a more successful endeavour. 

Still wondering how a woman can boost her fertility? At Babies Bliss, we’re all about fertility wellness. Not only do our services help clients relax, but they support egg quality too for their oocytes and retrieval process.

Contact us today for more information

Navigating Egg Freezing: Preparing Your Body for the Journey

Just because you are biologically ready to have children does not mean that your lifestyle or headspace is aligned. You could still be in the midst of pursuing your career goals or finding the right partner, among other reasons. If that sounds like you, then egg freezing may be the ideal option to preserve your fertility and delay parenthood until you feel ready to start a family.

However, this procedure can be expensive and time-consuming. As such, adequately preparing your body for egg freezing is essential to boost your fertility and optimise your chances of success. Let us explore how you can prepare physically and mentally for the egg freezing process.

Tip #1: Weight control, exercise, and lifestyle change

Weight Control

Clinical studies have demonstrated that a healthy body mass index (BMI) is essential to female fertility, with underweight and overweight patients facing increased risk of infertility when attempting to conceive naturally or through IVF. Hence, beyond seeking fertility support, exercise and weight management is crucial to ensure optimal egg quality for freezing.

However, please note that while moderate exercises can be beneficial, vigorous or high-intensity exercises may be detrimental to fertility, especially for women with healthy BMI. So, moderation is vital. It is a good idea to maintain a reasonable level of physical activity for a few months before starting your egg freezing cycle.

Additionally, keeping your health at its peak can be helpful when trying to conceive. That is no different when preparing for egg freezing. You may need to make several lifestyle adjustments to preserve your fertility, including getting sufficient rest during this period. Also, avoid risky habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, to ensure the retrieved eggs are as healthy as possible.

Tip #2: Maintain a healthy diet

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Beyond getting regular exercise, natural fertility treatments, like maintaining a healthy diet, are essential to preserving egg quality before starting an egg freezing cycle. Keep your diet varied and rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre through lean proteins such as fish and poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like farro and quinoa, and legumes, including beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

Meanwhile, avoid ingredients high in cholesterol and saturated fats, like processed meat products. You can also consider various supplements available on the market to enhance your fertility prior to egg freezing. Please consult a fertility specialist beforehand to determine their suitability before purchasing and consuming them.

Tip #3: Avoid stress and be positive

Avoid Stress and Be Positive

Aside from the physical aspects of preparing your body for egg freezing, you must also be mentally ready for the procedure. Avoid placing stress on yourself, as it can affect your hormones and suppress the activity of the reproductive system. Instead, try to remain calm and be mindful whenever possible.

For instance, try self-care routines, like meditating or yoga. Alternatively, you can consider our fertility massage services, which target the pivotal acupressure points in your body, particularly the areas surrounding the reproductive organs, to induce your body to enter a relaxed state, thus reducing stress levels.

While egg freezing can be an emotionally and physically draining experience, it can also be incredibly empowering, as it allows you to be in control of your fertility. So, as your egg freezing preparation continues apace, be positive and ensure that you are well-supported throughout the process. If you wish to know more about preparing yourself for egg freezing, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts at Babies Bliss for help.