Ovulation Disorders

Ovulation disorders, infrequent or absent ovulation (anovulation), typically result in infrequent periods (oligomenorrhea). The results are

  • fewer opportunities to conceive
  • difficulty detecting a woman's fertile periods
  • eggs not breaking through the follicle
  • eggs being released off-sync with other factors crucial to fertilization or implantation

Sometypical causes of ovulation disorders include:

  • hypothalamus dysfunction
  • hyperprolactinemia
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • luteal phase defect
  • tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands or ovaries

Less typical causes of ovulation disorder are:

  • Primary ovarian failure (POF)
  • Resistant ovary syndrome
  • Autoimmune oophoritis


In general, assessment for ovulation disorders may begin with the following lab tests:

  • serum FSH
  • serum LH
  • serum prolactin
  • serum testosterone
  • free androgen index
and may also include:
  • CAT scan or MRI scan of pituitary and hypothalamus
  • endometrial biopsy
  • ovarian biopsy
  • more specific antibody tests (antithyroid, adrenal, islet-cell, gastric parietal cell)


Treatments vary with the conclusion after diagnostic testing. In general, the treatments may include:

  • use of ovulation-inducing fertility medications
  • use of other drugs more specific to the diagnosed cause
  • nutritional adjustment
  • stress reduction
  • surgery (in the case of tumors)

Only primary ovarian failure, and the related conditions of resistant ovary syndrome and autoimmune oophoritis, are considered untreatable in regards to fertility.

Visitor Comments (1)
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toy - 1 year ago
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I am a 32 yr female my cycles are irregular I have been unable to conceive ive been on clomid ive had several procedures done I had been told I might have had (pcos) but those results came out negative . #1