Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Your Questions about Ovulatory Dysfunction and Infertility
When the ovaries fail, it becomes more difficult to conceive. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm answers questions about ovulation disorders and possible ways to counter infertility.
Q: What is ovulatory dysfunction?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Ovulatory dysfunction is a condition in which the ovaries do not release an egg regularly. Ovulation is a complex process dependent upon hormones being released at the precise time and in the right quantities during the menstrual cycle. Anything that interferes with hormone regulation can result in ovulatory dysfunction. Infertility is a major concern for women with irregular periods.
Q: What usually causes it?
Marla Ahlgrimm: For the most part, ovulatory dysfunction is caused by hormone imbalance. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus play a vital role in regulating Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). If these are out of balance, it can cause a disruption of the menstrual cycle.
Q: What outside factors may increase a woman’s chance for ovulatory issues?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Eating disorders alter the body’s level of LH, resulting in irregular periods. Excessive exercise and drastic dietary changes, such as those for female athletes in pre-competition mode, can stress the body and contribute to menstrual changes. Some medications, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, also interfere with ovulation. A return to normal eating habits and activity levels often restores the body’s hormone balance.
Q: How does progesterone help with infertility due to ovulatory dysfunction?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Progesterone is the chemical that prepares the body for pregnancy. Having adequate levels of progesterone aids in proper implantation of the fertilized egg. It is even more crucial to women who have such limited opportunities to get pregnant. Prescribed bioidentical progesterone is a safe and effective way to help return ovulatory balance within three cycles. Bioidentical progesterone is indistinguishable from progesterone produced by the body