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Infertility: Problems With Ovulation

Topic Overview

It can be hard to find out the cause of ovulation problems. Possible causes may include:

  • Hormone imbalances. Most women with ovulation problems have hormone imbalances. An example of a condition that causes a hormone imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Other ovulation problems can start in the ovaries or in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. (They produce hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.) These hormones are vital to normal ovulation.
  • Structural problems. Problems in the structure of the ovaries (such as ovarian cysts) or other reproductive organs can cause changes in a woman's ovulation schedule.
  • General medical problems. Problems that affect the metabolism (such as thyroid problems) can affect a woman's ovulation schedule. So can serious illness, emotional stress, overweight and low weight, and getting too much exercise.
  • Cancer treatment. Exposure to certain kinds of chemotherapy or radiation can damage the egg supply in the ovaries.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of June 4, 2014

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