Anovulation, or absence of ovulation, occurs when a woman does not release an egg during her menstrual cycle. In other words, the eggs stay “bottled up” in the ovary.
In most cases of anovulation, the woman has irregular, unpredictable or absent menses. Women who have regular predictable menses every 24-35 days typically do ovulate, especially if they have associated symptoms of vaginal discharge 14 days prior to menstruation and/or premenstrual symptoms. However, some women do not ovulate despite having regular predictable menses.
Anovulation may be caused by various hormone deficiencies or excesses. Treatment for anovulation will depend on the cause. Any woman who does not ovulate should have a full evaluation.
Most women who do not ovulate have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There are several strategies available to help patients with PCOS achieve pregnancy.