Anovulation is the term used for a menstrual cycle in which there is no ovulation. In other words, you still experience bleeding even though you did not release an egg or ovulate. It is normal for these cycles to occur occasionally throughout your childbearing years. However, when experienced on a frequent basis, the result is difficulty conceiving.
The number one cause of anovulation is hormonal imbalance. This can be brought on by a prolonged and strenuous exercise program, emotional stress, and/or eating disorders. There are also several medical issues that result in hormonal imbalance, including polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothalamic dysfunction, and tumors of the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or ovaries.
Additionally, it has been found that certain medications cause anovulation. For example, because they work by intentionally disrupting the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries, hormonal birth control is often the culprit. It appears that the longer a woman is on hormonal contraceptives, the more likely she will experience anovulation when she stops taking them.
Because many women will continue to have what appears to be normal periods even if they do not ovulate, anovulation can be difficult to detect without extensive testing. This could include blood tests, CT or MRI scans of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, and endometrial or ovarian biopsies. However, there is one way you can potentially detect this issue yourself at home, and that is with Lady-Comp. Lady-Comp is a personal fertility monitor which learns and adjusts to your individual cycle regardless of irregularities or cycle length. It is programmed with a database of more than 900,000 cycles and uses bio-mathematical forecasting calculations and computer techniques to predict your fertile days, primarily based on your morning body temperature. Research shows that Lady-Comp is 99.3% accurate. If you are experiencing bleeding without the indication of any fertile days, you will know something is amiss and can follow up with your doctor for further testing.
Once anovulation is detected, there are treatments available, including medication, nutritional adjustments, stress reduction, and surgery. What is recommended for you will vary depending on the cause of your condition, your age, and your medical history.