picture for lack of ovulation

What is Anovulation?

Anovulation means lack of ovulation.  Sometimes there will be a lack on every cycle, sometimes you might skip some cycles of ovulation and but ovulate on others.

What Causes Anovulation?

Anovulation can be caused by a number of hormone imbalances, although assumptions are often made that it has to do with hyperandrogenism.  That is the case in PCOS, but not all anovulation is caused by excessive male hormones.  Here are some common causes of anovulation:

  • Age

At peri-menopause, the ovaries are winding down and egg production decreases in frequency, but does still occur on some cycles.  Once your period has been absent for a full year and you are officially in menopause, ovulation usually stops, however, some women can still ovulate even after menopause.

  • PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome

PCOS is one of the more common reasons for anovulatory cycles.  In Classic PCOS, higher levels of androgens or male hormones are interfering with the normal development and release of eggs.  Restoring ovulation means correcting the the high testosterone or high DHEAs levels through lowering insulin.

  • Hypothyroid or Underactive thyroid

An underfunctioning thyroid means that the ovaries aren’t getting the proper stimulation to develop eggs.  Low thyroid function can be helped with the right nutrients and in the case of Hashimoto’s disease, moderating the immune system.

  • High prolactin or hyperprolactinemia

High prolactin levels can inhibit ovulation.  Prolactin increases during breastfeeding (but doesn’t always inhibit ovulation, so you can get pregnant while breastfeeding), but also goes up due to stress.  Stress reduction may help reduce prolactin levels and allow normal ovulation.

  • Low estrogen (estradiol)

Estrogen is necessary to mature follicles and produce healthy eggs.  Low levels of estrogen mean eggs don’t fully mature enough to get released.  Endocrine system support can help ovaries, adrenal glands and thyroid perform optimally for healthy estrogen production.