If you are having problems conceiving it is possible that you are experiencing ovulation problems. This does not necessarily mean that you are infertile. It is important to be aware of the solutions that are available to women with ovulation problems.
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Determine if you have ovulation problems
Measure your body temperature by every morning over a month's time. If you do not experience a spike in temperature (which signifies ovulation has just occurred), then you are not ovulating regularly.
You can also use home ovulation predictor kits. You simply test your urine for a change in hormone levels over the course of a month. If the hormone that causes ovulation (the luteinizing hormone) does not spike, then you are not experiencing ovulation.
Consult your doctor. Through the use of ultrasonography and other tests doctor's can detect if there are problems in your ovaries or uterus that are preventing you from ovulating and getting pregnant.
Types of ovulation problems
- Your body may not be producing the hormone which stimulates the pituitary gland (the gonadrotropin hormone). The pituitary gland produces and releases the luteinizing hormone, triggering the ovaries to develop and release mature eggs.
- Your pituitary gland may be working correctly, but not producing an adequate level of hormones to cause ovulation.
- Your body may produce too little estrogen.
- Your body may produce an excess of prolactin, causing low levels of ovulation causing hormones. Prolactin is the hormone that causes the production of breast milk. In some cases an excess of prolactin may be caused by an almost always noncancerous tumor.
- Your body's adrenal glands may produce too much testosterone.
- Your body may over or under produce thyroid hormones which keep the pituitary gland and ovaries in hormonal balance.
Ovulation Induction - There is medication available for women whose bodies do not develop the correct amount of hormone levels and as a result their ovaries do not develop mature eggs. The type of medication used depends on the specific ovulation problem the woman is experiencing. The most common treatments are:
- Clomiphene and Medroxyprogesterone - this combination hormone treatment is best used for women who have not ovulated or experienced their period for a long period of time, particularly women who have polycystic ovary syndrome. The medroxyprogesterone is taken orally for up to 10 days to stimulate a period. Once the period has started, clomiphene is taken orally for 5 days to stimulate ovulation.
- Human Gonadotrapins - If clomiphene and medroxyprogesterone treatments to not work, an injection of the hormone gonadotrapin may be used. This hormone therapy stimulates egg follicles to develop and mature in the ovaries. The follicles are monitored with ultrasonography and when they are mature the woman is injected with the human chorionic gonadrotropin hormone. This triggers the release of the eggs and thus causes ovulation.
Probability of pregnancy
The success rates of ovulation induction vary depending on the age of the woman, the type of induction used and quality of the male's sperm. If you do not get pregnant right away do not give up. For many women it takes months of hormone therapy treatment to find the right dosage to stimulate ovulation.