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.

Medications to induce ovulation
Clomiphene citrate
HMG - human menopausal gonadotrophin
FSH - follicle stimulating hormone
hCG - human chorionic gonadotropin
GnRH analogue

Testing of Hormones

The Hormone Blood Tests What They Do Treatment
The FSH level The FSH level estimates the number of eggs remaining in the ovaries. A high FSH level suggests that the ovary has either failed or is starting to fail. Treatment with HMG
LH level Gonadotropin hormone produced by the pituitary.This provides similar information the FSH level does. Treatment with HMG
Thyroxine and TSH Both of these tests are to determine thyroid function. Patients with overactive thyroid glands have been found to have a high thyroxine levels. The TSH level is increased for patients with decreased thyroid function aka hypothyroidism. Treated with bromocriptine
Prolactin This hormone is also produced by the pituitary gland. When there are high levels of prolactin it can lead to irregular or even absent ovulation. HMG,hCG is given to help with the release of the egg.

Anai Rhoads is a freelance health and political researcher/writer covering topics relating to Women's Health, Politics, Animal and Human Rights. She writes for several parenting websites and has been featured on several web based newspapers and media outlets, which include The National Iranian-American Council, End the War, CCMEP, MP Watch, Frankfort Times, ZMag and Media Monitors. She is an advocate of activities which promote animal and human rights, with a special interest in racial and religious discrimination and Middle East politics.

Copyright © Anai Rhoads. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.