It's estimated that about one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to females.
30 to 40 percent of these cases are caused by irregular or infrequent ovulation and menstruation.
The good news? Nearly all infertility issues caused by irregular menstruation are treatable.
Do not run straight to the Clomid, though. Before automatically treating ovulation problems with fertility drugs, have a doctor rule out any other medical condition which may be causing irregular menstruation. Diabetes, liver diseases, and hormonal imbalance resulting from abnormalities in the thyroid can all cause irregular menstruation.
Along with sperm deficiencies, ovulation abnormalities (specifically, irregular menstruation) account for two-thirds of infertility problems. A condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the more common undering causes of ovulation problems and / or infertility. It affects approximately 5-10 percent of women in their reproductive years. Symptoms of PCOS include:
o Irregular menstruation, abnormal menstruation, or no menstruation
o Being overweight or obese, sometimes even when dieting and exercising
o Insulin resistance, which could lead to the development of Type II Diabetes
o Hair growth on the chest and / or face, due to increased testosterone levels
o High blood pressure
o High triglyceride levels
o Thinning hair
In the past, due to the sheer variety of PCOS symptoms and a wide range in the severity of these symptoms, PCOS was seldom diagnosed. However, recent medical studies have raised awareness of the condition and several courses of treatment are available.
If you've been diagnosed with PCOS and are trying to become pregnant, your doctor may prescribe you a medicine which will induce ovulation. Overweight PCOS sufferers improve their chances of becoming pregnant by losing weight. If elevated insulin levels are to blame for your PCOS, you may be prescribed medicine which will lower your insulin levels. This will make you ovulate regularly and, in turn, regulate your menstrual cycle and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Unfortunately, there is not always a clear explanation for irregular menstrual cycles or infertility. Nearly 10 percent of infertility cases go unexplained, although these couples often later succeed in becoming pregnant. External factors like stress often have an effect on ovulation, menstruation, and fertility. Participating in stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga, cutting back on caffeine, or regular exercise can help prevent irregular menstruation. Most importantly, activities like these promote overall health – a must for a comfortable, successful pregnancy!