Ovulatory and Anovulatory Cycles

When a woman reaches her optimum reproductive age, this is the time where she will feel the most concern about her reproductive health. As expected, most women who are of ideal child-bearing age are thinking about their fertility and possibly starting a family. This is why many couples go to a company such as Fertility Plus to see if they are able to conceive. Needless to say, it is important for every woman to be knowledgeable about her ovulation cycle, regardless if she wants a baby or not.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is the stage of the menstrual cycle wherein the woman is most fertile. This is because of the mature egg that is being released from the ovary, which then travels through the fallopian tube and to the uterus, ready for fertilization. The ovulation phase lasts from 12 to 24 hours and usually occurs 14 days before your next period.

Majority of women who have regular menstrual cycles ovulate each month. A woman is born with about four hundred thousand eggs in each of her ovaries. With each ovulation cycle, she loses an egg to be fertilized. But when an egg is not fertilized, it is lost in the menstruation phase. Unfortunately, new eggs cannot be synthesized. Thus, when a woman reaches her 30s, her egg count would have dropped to about 25,000.

Therefore, a word of advice for women who are trying to get pregnant: make use of your ovulation dates wisely! Remember that it only takes one egg to get pregnant. Use Flo in order to keep track of your approximate ovulation dates accurately.

What is anovulation?

Women can go through their menstrual cycle without the ovulation part. In an anovulatory cycle, a woman does not release an egg as normally, and thus cannot get pregnant during that month. This is not a rare occasion and does not always mean a serious health problem. Actually, most women have experienced an anovulatory cycle at some point in their life without them noticing it.

Why does an anovulatory cycle happen?

When the body produces too little progesterone to stimulate the release of an egg from the ovary, this can cause heavy bleeding which resembles a period.

An anovulatory cycle usually occurs in girls who have just begun their menses as well as in women who are close to their menopausal stage. This is due to hormonal changes that are most prominent during these two life stages.

Other possible causes of an anovulatory cycle are:

  • Being underweight
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Unbalanced diet and poor eating habits
  • High stress levels
  • Extreme exercise/physical activity
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Low ovarian reserves
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Symptoms of anovulatory cycle

The symptoms of an anovulatory cycle are pretty hard to recognize since women don’t usually pay attention to these symptoms. However, if you are trying to conceive and are having trouble in doing so, recognizing signs of anovulation may help correct the problem early on.

If you notice the following signs and or symptoms during your cycle, you may be experiencing an anovulatory cycle:

  • No cervical mucus that is indicative of fertility (which is akin to egg whites)
  • Irregular periods or no periods at all
  • Decrease in menstrual blood
  • No pain or cramping during period

However, experiencing these symptoms does not always mean that you have an anovulatory cycle. If you are concerned about your fertility, you can consult with a specialist in order to diagnose the problem more accurately. Your doctor may check your progesterone levels, uterus lining, and blood chemistry to determine whatever is wrong and how you can go forth in terms of treatment.

Treatment and prognosis

If you are experiencing anovulatory cycles, the cause of the disorder will determine the corresponding treatment. Commonly, anovulatory cycles are treated using fertility drugs like Clomid and/or modification of factors that contribute to the anovulation (e.g. weight, exercise, habits, etc).

Use Flo to track your ovulation dates in order to address anovulation if ever you notice something off about your menstrual cycle.