What is Anovulation?
I was unaware of the term anovulation for much of my adult life. It wasn’t until I was faced with fertility issues that I started to pay attention.
Anovulation is when your ovaries do not release a viable egg, so ovulation does not occur.
If ovulation does not occur then pregnancy cannot occur.
Chronic anovulation is a pretty common cause of infertility.
Anovulatory cycles can range from very short to exceedingly long. Often times you may not get a period or if you do it will be light, short and relatively painless.
This is actually just break through bleeding. Since ovulation did not occur, it is not a real period. Though it can be a nice break from the torture of a real period 🙂
Ever experienced this?
Causes of Anovulation
There are phases in a woman’s life where anovulation is more likely to occur including adolescence, pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause, or if you recently got off of birth control pills.
Outside of these times of life, there are other things that can cause anovulation including:
- exercise – common among runners, swimmers, gymnasts and ballet dancers
- weight gain or loss – you should have at least 20% body fat – anorexia can stop menstruation
- stress – delays or stops ovulation
- medical conditions including elevated prolactin, pituitary gland problems or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid issues also impact ovulation and lead to anovulatory cycles.
Natural Ways to Encourage Ovulation
If you are trying to conceive, or looking to obtain hormonal balance then anovulation is quite frustrating. It is a sure sign that things are off.
One way to help stimulate ovulation is with acupuncture. I know a lot women who have had success in stimulating ovulation with regular sessions and traditional Chinese herbs.
Regular exercise is helpful. So is stress reduction. Regular massages are said to help, as they reduce stress and stimulate lymphatic flow.
To ensure your body have the foundation for happy, flowing hormones it is good to include lots of healthy fats in your diet. This includes things like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc. Be sure to avoid hydrogenated oils, as these have a negative impact.
Other herbs said to help stimulate ovulation include: parsley, tribulus, vitex, shatauari and maca root. Be careful with these herbs, as they may or may not jive with endo. Reactions seem to be bio-individual.
On the Positive Side?
To see if you are experiencing an anovulatory cycle you can test to see if you are ovulating with ovulation monitors, but these are not always the most reliable since they can produce false positives.
A simple way to tell if you are ovulating is by charting your cycle. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and its given me a wealth of knowledge about the health of my cycle.
Have you struggled with anovulation? Found anything that worked for you to get your body to ovulate again? I’d love to hear from you.