Should there be ovulation in every cycle? What is pathological anovulation and how is it diagnosed? How to stimulate ovulation with medications and what can be done with “home” methods? We will try to answer these questions
What is anovulation?
Lack of ovulation – anovulation) is a violation of the growth and maturation of the follicle, as well as the lack of ejection of an egg from the follicle. Such deviations can occur in women, both with a regular cycle and with its failures.
Let’s remember the sequence of the menstrual cycle. It is divided into two phases: follicular and luteal. The first prepares the body for conception, the second-for pregnancy. These phases are controlled by special hormones produced by the pituitary gland-gonadotropins: follicle-stimulating (FSH) and luteinizing (LH) hormones.
“Conductor” of the first phase of the menstrual cycle-FSH. At the beginning of the cycle, the concentration of this hormone is maximum. It stimulates the maturation of the follicle, inside which a young egg is preparing to meet the sperm. As it Matures, the follicle increases in volume and produces an increasing amount of estrogens (including the hormone estradiol). For the pituitary gland, increasing the concentration of estradiol is like a trigger: it reacts with a strong release of luteinizing hormone. Under the influence of LH, the follicle bursts and ovulation occurs. The remaining follicle turns into a yellow body and begins to produce progesterone and wait for pregnancy.
Difficulties with ovulation begin with insufficient production of gonadotropins, when there is no maturation of the follicle or there is no egg in the follicle, as well as in cases when the egg cannot leave the follicle due to too dense a shell. Unfortunately, anovulation is one of the most common causes of infertility today.
Causes of anovulation
Should ovulation accompany every menstrual cycle? It turns out, no! Normally, several cycles a year in a woman do without ovulation – the reproductive system arranges a kind of”vacation”. The older the woman, the more often her ovaries strive to rest, so the chances of rapid conception decrease after 35-40 years.
Among the pathological causes of ovulation, disorders of the endocrine system, inflammatory diseases, features of the structure of organs and stress conditions are in the first place.
First of all, the reason for the lack of ovulation is changes in the hormonal background. It could be:
- violation of the thyroid gland;
- violation of pituitary function;
- improper production of prolactin levels, which leads to an imbalance of the hormones FSH and LH.
In addition, ovulation may be absent due to inflammatory processes in the body.
How is anovulation diagnosed?
It would be misleading to think that the diagnosis of “anovulation” can be made independently on the basis of basal temperature charts or pharmacy ovulation tests. Their results should serve as a basis for contacting a doctor and passing a medical examination. It is also impossible to make a diagnosis on a single ultrasound – several such procedures will be required.
There are two ways to diagnose anovulation. First, you can conduct a study of the level of progesterone. Secondly, it is possible to conduct ultrasonic monitoring. Usually ultrasound is done 4-5 times during the cycle. This is usually enough to make a diagnosis.
Medical methods of ovulation stimulation
Today there are four main types of medical stimulation of ovulation:
- Antiestrogen drugs (of Clostilbegyt, Serafin, Clomid). These drugs in the form of tablets are currently prescribed most often, they are the most available among the means that stimulate ovulation. The main effect of these drugs is to increase the level of FSH and LH. However, the appointment of anti-estrogenic drugs should be approached with great caution: the slightest violation of the dosage can lead to hyperstimulation, which threatens polycystic ovaries, their depletion and early menopause. In addition, it is recommended to conduct no more than six courses of such therapy in a lifetime. And, therefore, the use of these funds should be carried out under very strict control of the doctor.
- A milder scheme of influence on the ovaries is considered to be treatment with injections based on human menopausal gonadotropin (for example, Menogon, Pergonal, Menopur). These drugs are synthesized from the urine of menopausal women. They contain the hormones LH and FSH, which are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and maturation of the follicles (and therefore contribute to the launch of ovulation).
- The most effective and safe to date are considered recombinant FSH (Puregon, Gonal-f). These drugs are the most expensive. They are obtained in the laboratory by genetic engineering, they are almost devoid of impurities and as close as possible in their action to the natural hormone FSH.
- In some cases, prescribe injections of drugs containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (for example, Ovitrel, Pregnil, Choragon, Prophase). This drug is used in a situation when the follicles themselves Mature and develop, but then regress and do not release an egg, as well as in IVF and AI schemes. HCG stimulates the rupture of a Mature follicle, which releases an egg ready for fertilization into the fallopian tube.
Important: If you have decided to perform medical ovulation stimulation, you need to make sure that your spouse has no problems with conception – the actual results of the spermogram are mandatory!
Home methods of ovulation stimulation
What can you do at home to help your ovaries? We have collected the most popular “home” methods of ovarian stimulation and asked a specialist to comment on them.
It is known that many plants contain phytohormones-substances whose action is similar to human hormones. It is these properties of plants that many people use in home practice. We have collected several herbs to stimulate ovulation, which are most often heard in the recommendations.
Sage (broth). Sage contains phytoestrogen, a plant-derived substance similar to human estrogen. It is believed that sage broth promotes the formation and growth of follicles, so it is recommended to take it in the first phase of the cycle.
Rose petals (decoction). This is probably the most romantic and mysterious way to bring ovulation closer! 1 tbsp of rose petals (it is better, of course, to take it from your own garden, rather than buy it in a store), pour a glass of boiling water and stand for 15 minutes in a water bath. Done! Take 1 teaspoon before going to bed in the first half of the cycle. The “magic” properties of this broth are explained by the high content of vitamin E.
Therapeutic mud. Wraps with therapeutic mud are a well-known sanatorium method of recovery. Therapeutic mud increases hormonal activity, helps to eliminate inflammatory processes and promotes the restoration of reproductive functions. Such wraps and mud applications can be done independently at home-after consulting with your doctor, of course.
Bath with laminaria. Another pleasant home method, which is very often recommended, without explaining, however, the subtleties of the mechanism of its effect – stimulating baths with kelp. Dry kelp can be purchased at a pharmacy, thoroughly steamed and add the resulting infusion to the bath. Among other things, kelp is also an excellent anti-cellulite remedy – so the benefits are guaranteed!
To normalize the hormonal background, all means (and especially those approved by the doctor) are good! For example, a diet that includes foods that stimulate the production of estrogens. It is worth paying attention to:
- soy and legumes;
- pumpkin and sesame seeds;
- fat milk;
- sprouted wheat.
We wrote about the undoubted benefits of vitamins during pregnancy planning in a recent review. Taking vitamins such as folic acid, E, and C really increases the chances of successful conception. But it is unlikely that vitamins will help start ovulation in serious pathological disorders.