Ovulation

by Anai Rhoads

Normal Ovulation

Two hormones must be produced for normal ovulation to take place. The mature egg is stimulated by two hormones secreted by the pituitary (follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

How you can detect ovulation? The following table gives methods of detecting ovulation:

Test Description
Menstrual Cycle The first day of your cycle begins on first day of bleeding. Count from that day until your next period. If you see a regular pattern, you can determine ovulation from the 11th to 14th day of your next period
Temperature Chart You may use a BBT (Basal Temperature Chart) to track the times you have ovulated. It is important to remember that a BBT chart will only show when you have already ovulated.
Endometrial Biopsy This is a standard procedure done just before your period starts. It can be done in your doctor's office or hospital on an out-patient basis.
Progesterone Blood Test This test is performed one week after the suspected date of ovulation. (on or around the 21st day). The progesterone in your blood is measured to confirm that ovulation has taken place. If there is a high level of progesterone in your blood, there is a good chance that you ovulated.
Curettage (D&C) The cervix is dilated and the uterine cavity curetted (scraped). D&C is performed to collect tissue that may indicated whether a woman is ovulating or not. D&C is also used for missed miscarriages. This procedure may weaken your cervix for future pregnancies. Many women opt to let nature take it's course in some cases.
Ovulation Prediction Kits Unlike BBT Charting, Ovulation kits can detect LH in your urine before ovulation has occurred. You ovulate usually 12 to 36 hours after the test shows positive for LH surge. Many with infertility problems or irregular cycles benefit from these kits, as they can pinpoint exactly when they ovulate before it happens.
Blood Tests You may ask your doctor to take frequent blood samples to measure the LH level a few days prior to time of ovulation to predict when the follicle is ready for ovulation.
Symptoms Just before ovulation, your cervical mucus is thin, clear and stretchy, somewhat like raw egg whites. When ovulation is completed, the mucus becomes thicker.
Ultrasound Your doctor will first request that you empty your bladder for this procedure. The ultrasound is performed to track the follicle. It is a painless procedure that takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
Types Cycle Chance For Ovulation
Normal Cycle 24 to 36 days. Same length each month 90%
Irregular (oligomenorrhea) Every 3 to 7 months 30%
No Period (Amenorrhea) None 10%

Abnormal Ovulation - Ovarian Failure

Ovarian failure is where the ovaries fail to produce eggs. This disease is uncommon, occurring in only about 10% of women with amenorrhea (lack or absence of menses).

Ovarian failure may be genetic (Turner's syndrome, a chromosomal disorder) or may be acquired following chemotherapy or radiation for cancer.