September 25, 2023

Angela Onwuzoo 

A professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Solomon Avidime, says women experiencing irregular ovulation should go to the hospital for proper evaluation by maternal health experts.

According to Prof. Avidime, irregular ovulation could lead to infertility if not properly treated.

The gynaecologist disclosed this in an interview with Reportr Door HealthWise. 

He urged women with the condition to avoid self-medication and seek help.

Prof. Avidime identified polycystic ovarian syndrome — a hormonal disorder, premature ovarian failure, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, and excessive weight gain as some of the health conditions that are associated with irregular ovulation

The maternal health expert also stated that a high-fat and low-fibre diet could predispose women to irregular ovulation.

According to him, about 20 per cent of women of reproductive age have irregular ovulation also known as anovulation.

An online portal, WebMD says irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for 30 per cent to 40 per cent of all cases of infertility. 

“Having irregular periods, no periods or abnormal bleeding often indicates that you aren’t ovulating, a condition known clinically as anovulation.

“Although anovulation can usually be treated with fertility drugs, it is important to be evaluated for other conditions that could interfere with ovulation, such as thyroid conditions or abnormalities of the adrenal or pituitary glands,” it noted.

Cleveland Clinic stated that anovulation happens when an egg (ovum) doesn’t release from a woman’s ovary during her menstrual cycle.

Anovulation, the Cleveland Clinic said, is a common condition and is the cause of approximately 25 per cent of infertility cases, adding that approximately one in 10 people with ovaries who are of childbearing age experience the condition at some point in their lives.

Prof. Avidime, however, said the treatment of the condition depends on the underlying cause.

The gynaecologist explained, “Women with irregular ovulation can have infertility. This is due to an alteration in the pathway for normal reproduction.

“This is ovarian factor infertility. Normal reproduction involves an ovulatory cycle mediated via hormones from the brain and the response from the ovaries and the uterus. 

“Women with irregular ovulation are to be seen by a gynaecologist for proper evaluation and treatment of the underlying cause. This treatment is targeted at correcting hormonal disorders and ensuring fertility.”

The maternal health expert pointed out that the treatment might be medical or surgical, adding also that some of the women with the condition who are experiencing infertility might benefit from assisted reproductive techniques. 

Speaking further on the causes, he said, “The most common cause of irregular ovulation in our environment is polycystic ovarian syndrome.

“The cause of polycystic ovary may be poorly understood, but it usually results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

“PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries and the development of numerous small cysts on the outer edge.

“Another hormonal condition of the high level of prolactin called hyperprolactinemia can be responsible for irregular ovulation and irregular menstrual cycle. In this condition, most women have breast fluid (milk) discharges.”

The don listed irregular menses, excessive bleeding when menses occurs, or even light bleeding as some of the signs of irregular ovulation. 

Others are absent menses, absent cervical mucus, the prolonged period from one menses to the next, male pattern of hair distribution, acne, obesity and irregular basal body temperature.

The professor advised women to engage in a healthy lifestyle and regular physical exercise.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, bleeding disorders, eating disorders or extreme exercise, and sexually transmitted diseases can also cause irregular menses and ovulation.

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