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Am I ovulating/infertile?

By July 8, 2011 - 2:39pm
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I have been having very regular unprotected/contraceptive-free sex with my husband for 3 years. Neither of us have any STDs, not drug users, and are active and healthy. I'm 24 years old, and he is 27. I have never become pregnant. I always have strong PMS symptoms, and a regular heavy periods every month however I never notice the "egg-white" discharge so often described when a woman is ovulating. Can I still be getting a period if I am not ovulating? Am I infertile? My husband already has one child from a previous marriage, so I think I may be the problem. Please help!

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Hi Karina,
It is possible to have a period without ovulating, but let me explain. Menstruation is the periodic, monthly shedding of the lining of the uterus under the influence of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Hormones control ovulation, the thickening of the endometrium and menses or vaginal flow. It is possible to bleed without ovulation, but the bleeding will be irregular.This is known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding or anovulatory bleeding. Anovulatory bleeding varies in flow, duration, and schedule, and often is mistaken for a menstrual period. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important. Infertility is a possible complication of anovulatory bleeding. I strongly suggest that you make an appointment with your gynecologist.
Here is the link to a very informative piece that I reference. It is the website "Go Ask Alice !" which is affiliated with Columbia University.

July 8, 2011 - 4:47pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you for your quick response. After doing some research on on anovulatory bleeding I will definitely make a trip to my OBGYN. However, are there any other signs I can look for or ways to determine on my own whether or not I am ovulating? My periods are always withing 26-30 days of each other, and very heavy, often with exteme sickness like vomiting and fainting for the first day. I also have very strong PMS symptoms, like extremelly swollen breasts, fatigue and increased appetite. Is this in anyway related to the hormones that affect ovulation? Thank you very much for your help

July 9, 2011 - 12:33pm
(reply to KarinaO)

Yes, the PMS symptoms you describe are associated with the same hormones that lead to ovulation and other functions of the reproductive system.

I am not sure why there was a leap made that you are not ovulating, as you are now researching a very specific medical condition, instead of focusing on your primary symptom (trying to conceive for 3 years), as well as experiencing strong PMS symptoms each month. It is an excellent idea to talk with your OBGYN regarding your concerns, and s/he can do some tests on your hormone levels, as well as other fertility/infertility conditions.

It is important to focus on your broad symptoms, and not narrow your information/research to one specific diagnosis (you are experiencing a regular period, so I am unclear why the assumption was made that you are not ovulating). There are many other possible reasons or causes to infertility, so be sure to read about all the possible causes, what your family history may tell you, as well as your treatment options: http://www.empowher.com/condition/infertility-fertility.

Good luck, and please let us know what your doctor says!

July 10, 2011 - 12:53pm
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