Episode #15: PCOS & Ovulation
What you’ll learn in this episode
PCOS is the most common reason for women of reproductive age to not ovulate. The hormone imbalance of PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, leads to irregular cycles and not ovulating (anovulation). This makes it hard for women with PCOS to get pregnant.
Ovulation problems and PCOS is what today’s episode is all about! So let’s get started.
Let’s start with…..What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the main event of your cycle. I know, maybe you are like me and thought the period was the main event of your monthly cycle but NOPE it’s ovulation.
During the first part of your cycle FSH, Follicular Stimulating Hormone, rises to prepare a follicle into an egg, then LH, luteinizing hormone, spikes causing your body to ovulate….which is when you release a mature egg that is ready for fertilization with a sperm.
Signs and Symptoms of Anovulation
- Cycles lasting longer than 35 days might be a sign that you are not ovulating.
- An irregular cycle or no menstrual cycle at all
- Absence of mid-cycle sore and tender breasts and possible cramping at the time of ovulation.
- Lack of cervical mucus or no change in your cervical mucus throughout the month
- An irregular basal body temperature chart that doesn’t show a clear cycle pattern
- Not getting pregnant after several months of trying to conceive.
So How do you Know When you’re Ovulating?
Unlike your period, ovulation is easy to miss. Very few women pay any attention to ovulation unless they are trying to get pregnant. In fact, the first time you realize something isn’t quite right might have been when trying to conceive
It’s completely natural to become more aware of your cycle when you want to get pregnant and this extra interest and attention to your monthly cycle is the first step to reversing your PCOS and also to getting pregnant.
Why am I Not Ovulating
Ok so you’ve determined that you are not ovulating each month or at all…..so why is this the case?
There are several reasons for not ovulating. You might skip a month due to factors in your environment such as lack of sleep, stress or other short-term factors and this is of little concern.
Consistently skipping ovulation is when it becomes a problem.
There are reasons outside of PCOS that can cause anovulation but roughly 70% of cases are due to PCOS.
The good news is that with a little assistance most women with PCOS get pregnant and have one or more children even without any fertility treatment and that is what this episode will learn more about. So go ahead, find a quiet space and listen now.
Here’s a glance at this episode…
PCOS is the most common reason for women of reproductive age to not be ovulating. The hormone imbalance of PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, leads to irregular cycles and not ovulating, known as anovulation.
This episode will be helpful whether or not you are currently thinking about trying to get pregnant. All right, let’s start with what is ovulation? Ovulation is the main event of your cycle.
Your luteinizing hormone surges, it spikes, causing your body to release that mature egg, aka to ovulate, and then it is ready for fertilization. If fertilization happens, then your body will hopefully implant that embryo into the uterine wall, and conception occurs and your body will start to create all of the necessary preparations for a healthy pregnancy. If fertilization does not occur, or any of those other steps following it, then our body will say, all right, let’s prepare for another month and have a period.
So this leads us to, what are some of the signs and symptoms that you may not be ovulating?
So with a hormone disorder such as PCOS, OPKs or Ovulation, predictor kits are really not useful. In fact, I highly recommend not using them. This is where you test your urine with a hormone test strip at home.
Ovu-sense that can really be helpful in tracking, but any sort of temperature tracker is going to be a lot better than trying to measure your hormone levels with LH.
Okay, so now that you’ve determined that you’re not ovulating each month, why is this the case? Well, there are several reasons for not ovulating.
To repair your cycle and ovulate monthly, it’s really important to just lean into your health to care for your body and to not just turn to medication, supplements, and fertility procedures because they’re all quick fix bandaids for only a portion of the problem.
Now, stress is a normal part of life and we cannot remove it entirely. So it really isn’t about removing the stress, it’s about how we manage it and how we care for our needs in the midst of it.
Creating a conceivable cycle doesn’t happen overnight, but a little progress each day, it adds up in a big way. So you do not have to be perfect. Just get out there, get started and stick with it, and do your best.
Resources & References Mentioned in this episode
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About the Show
Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!
I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.
If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.
So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now