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Ovulation is a term that often comes together with pregnancy. However, some women may experience anovulation, or the absence of ovulation in a menstrual cycle. This makes you wonder, is pregnancy possible without ovulation? Let’s find out by learning more about anovulation and how it can affect your ability to get pregnant.
What Is Anovulation?
In a menstrual cycle, the ovaries normally release an egg at around 14 days before your next menstrual flow. However, in some instances, the ovaries fail to produce and release an egg. This is called anovulation. In an anovulatory menstrual cycle, the woman may still have her period, but no egg is released from her ovary.
Is Pregnancy Without Ovulation Possible?
Pregnancy or conception happens when a male sperm successfully fertilized a female egg. Since eggs aren’t released without ovulation, pregnancy will not be possible.
However, if you are not ovulating due to certain conditions, treatments are available to help correct the problem.
Who Is At Risk Of Anovulation?
Anovulation typically happens a year after an adolescent female gets her first period. It is also common for women between 40 to 50 years old who are about to menopause.
Anovulation is also linked to some conditions that interfere with the body’s ability to produce or release the female reproductive hormones. These include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HA).
Other conditions like hypothyroidism (wherein the thyroid gland produce less hormones) and hyperprolactinemia (or the excessive release of prolactin) may also hinder your ability to ovulate.
It may also be due to ovarian insufficiency wherein women have an insufficient number of eggs to be released after they reached 40 years old. A small percentage of women may also have premature ovarian failure which is associated with chromosomal defects and autoimmune disorders.
Your risk of not ovulating also increases when you smoke, you are obese, or you’re not getting enough exercise.
What Are The Signs That Would Indicate You’re Not Ovulating?
There are a few signs to give you a hint that you’re not ovulating. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, it’s important to assess yourself of these signs.
- Irregular periods
- Very light or very heavy menstrual bleeding
- Short cycle (when your menstruation comes less than 21 days after your recent period)
- Long cycle (when you menstruation comes more than 35 days after your recent period)
- Breakthrough bleeding (bleeding in between periods)
Other symptoms suggesting that you may have medical conditions affecting your ovulation include:
- Acne, abnormal hair growth and weight gain (signs of PCOS)
- Decreased sex drive, low levels of energy, mood swings, and weight gain (signs of HA)
- Breast discharge when not breastfeeding, dryness of the vagina, irregular or no menstrual flow (signs of hyperprolactinemia)
- Always feeling tired and weight gain (signs of hypothyroidism)
- Night sweats, hot flashes, no menstrual flow, irritability, and low sex drive (signs of ovarian insufficiency)
How To Increase Your Chances Of Becoming Pregnant
If your menstrual cycle seems to be erratic and you’re planning to get pregnant, making some lifestyle modifications can help. Doctors often recommend healthier food choices, exercise, rest, and stress-relief methods for women who are trying to conceive. Once you’ve done your part on becoming healthier and comfortable, track your menstrual cycle and see if it’s starting to be predictable. Regular menstrual cycles are good indicators of ovulation and increase your chance of getting pregnant.
If you still have an irregular cycle and you noticed the symptoms mentioned above, it will help to seek consultation from a doctor. Your doctor may find ways to increase your fertility and help manage other conditions that may be affecting your menstrual cycle.
Pregnancy without ovulation may not be possible, but there are ways to make it more favorable for you to ovulate. Talk with your doctor about your concerns so that you can work together in increasing your chance of getting pregnant.
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