For women suffering from fertility problems, a hormone imbalance could be part of the problem. Dr. Beshay and his fertility team can evaluate your condition and explain suggested treatments available at DFW Center for Fertility & IVF. A woman’s normal menstrual cycle is the result of an orchestra of hormones produced initially in the brain, then from the ovaries, and the uterus responds to these hormones. Any abnormal secretion (high or low) can cause irregular menstrual cycles resulting from irregular ovulation.
Common Hormone Problems
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
The most common cause of hormonal imbalance is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Patients describe irregular menstrual cycles (sometimes no cycles), increased hair growth and infertility. PCOS is also a metabolic condition, where women may have insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing diabetes. This hormone imbalance is also linked to obesity and, in some women, may be treated by weight loss alone. Treatment is dependent on the patient’s wishes. For women desiring pregnancy, medications that lead to ovulation are commonly used. For others, medications such as oral contraceptive or progesterone may be used to control irregular bleeding, and more importantly protect the uterine lining from developing tumors (due to the hormone imbalance). Success of getting pregnant is high with PCOS, but usually requires fertility treatment to achieve.
Referred to as hypo/hypo is a condition that causes low hormone production from the brain, therefore the ovaries are quiet and do not lead to appropriate ovulation. After appropriate evaluation, treatment is also dependent on wishes to conceive. In women wishing to conceive, ovulation induction is used. However, in women not wishing to conceive, hormone replacement is necessary for bone health as estrogen tends to be lacking.
Premature Ovarian Failure
This is sometimes referred to as premature menopause. As the name implies, women stop having cycles prematurely prior to expected menopause age of 50-55 years old. This is typically an issue with the ovaries. When this happens in women younger that the age of 40, conception chances become extremely low. Our fertility clinic performs an assessment underlying cause for this development. In women seeking pregnancy, many cases unfortunately do not respond to traditional fertility treatment including IVF and in many cases, donor egg provides the highest chance of success. In women not seeking pregnancy, hormone replacement is necessary as estrogen is lacking.