Ovulation disorders are a common cause of infertility. Typically, women who have regular menstrual cycles are ovulatory and those who are not regular usually are not ovulating. Ovulation is the process of developing and releasing a mature egg.
Several home tests are available to determine ovulation such as the urinary ovulation predictor kits or even the basal body temperature charts. These tests are very good but not 100% accurate. A blood test to determine progesterone levels is the most accurate predictor of ovulation.
Causes of ovulation disorders include an under-active thyroid, high prolactin levels, insulin resistance, obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Sometimes the cause for the ovulation disorder cannot be found.
Ovulation disorders are usually easily treated with medications. If the prolactin level is high, typically the patient is started on Dostinex or Parlodel. If the thyroid hormone level is low, then replacement therapy is begun. Also, there are several medications that stimulate ovulation such as clomiphene citrate and the injectable gonadotropins (Bravelle, Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur. Repronex). The main side effect of ovulation stimulating agents is multiple births.