What is an Anovulatory Cycle?

You are diligently charting your morning temperatures, checking your cervical mucus and taking note of your cervical position each day. However this month something is off……. your temperature doesn’t rise like normal during the middle of your cycle. What happened?
It could be that you are in the midst of an anovulatory cycle. That means that you did not ovulate during this particular cycle, an egg was not released. This is definitely frustrating when you are working so hard to become pregnant.
Why do anovulatory cycles occur?
There are many reasons, but most often it is because of hormone imbalances. But it can also happen because of hard core exercising, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, PCOS, luteal phase defects or problems with the pituitary gland, adrenal gland or ovaries. In addition, there are some medications that can cause an anovulatory cycle as well.
Since there are so many potential reasons for not ovulating, it is sometimes hard to diagnose the problem. Most of time women find out that they are experiencing anovulatory cycles only after they have struggled to conceive and then visit a fertility specialist for testing.
The good thing though is that you can reduce your risk by including a healthy diet, moderate exercise program, and limiting stress as part of your TTC plan. However, if you maintain a healthy lifestyle and still struggle to ovulate, there are many treatment options for you and your doctor to consider.
A common treatment plan is  taking Clomid in hopes that it will regulate your cycle. As long as you are producing estrogen on your own, Clomid will most likely be the first plan of attack! However if Clomid doesn’t seem to do the trick, doctors can also add Pergonal to your plan.  If this combination still doesn’t work, your doctor may suggest reducing stress, changing your diet or recommend further testing.
How do you know that you are not ovulating?
Sometimes it is tricky to know because you can have a normal period each month and still not ovulate. But if you experience inconsistent menstrual cycles that are often very short and erratic, or if your temperature doesn't shift mid-cycle, they may be signs that you are not ovulating. In addition, you would want to check with your doctor if you find yourself bleeding between periods for more than 2 cycles.
So, if you are struggling to become pregnant, you may want to first visit your doctor to find out if you are indeed ovulating! Smile


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.