Do you have regular periods each month? If not, ovulation problems could be affecting your fertility.
Why is ovulation important?
Inside your ovaries lie many ovarian follicles. These follicles are tiny sacs that contain your eggs. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from a follicle. Keep this picture in mind as we explain how ovulation works:
- On day 1 of your menstrual cycle (the first day of bleeding), several follicles and eggs begin to mature and develop.
- About 2 weeks later, the dominant (most mature) egg bursts out of its follicle and out of the ovary.
- The egg travels out of the ovary and into the fallopian tube.
When does ovulation occur?
Many women are able to track and predict exactly when ovulation occurs each month using a number of different ovulation detection methods.
When ovulation, fertilization and implantation are healthy and successful, pregnancy begins! If problems with ovulation, fertilization, or implantation occur, conception is more difficult. Unfortunately, some women may have risk factors that put them at higher risk for ovulation problems.
When to seek help
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, and have one or more of the following risk factors, see a fertility specialist to find out what’s going on.
- Being underweight or overweight
- Experiencing high stress
- Having problems with the thyroid or other hormonal disorders
- Abusing drugs or alcohol
- Having health problems, including cysts, tumors, or other masses
Ovulation problems may make pregnancy harder to achieve. If you suspect that you have irregular menstrual cycles and do not ovulate regularly, ask your doctor about treatments for ovulation problems.
If you are consistent with fertility tracking and do not become pregnant within six to twelve months, a fertility doctor may be able to help. Take your fertility tracking charts to your doctor visits as these charts may provide valuable information to help you get pregnant.