There are four conditions, any one of which you may discover while charting your cycles. The first two below will often give you obvious signs, even if you aren’t charting. With the latter two, however, you may not have any symptoms at all. In all four cases, though, treatment is often necessary before you can get pregnant.
A surprisingly common problem in which the cells that normally line the uterus are displaced and attach elsewhere in the pelvic cavity, often adversely affecting ovulation and even the ability of the fallopian tubes to grasp the egg.
Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Intense menstrual cramps
- Pain during intercourse, especially with deep penetration
- Chronic pelvic pain, including lower back pain
- Heavy or irregular bleeding
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS
Another common disorder in which a woman has an imbalance of sex hormones that frequently prevent ovulation and lead to irregular menstrual cycles as well as more significant health problems.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
- Long (over 35 days) or irregular cycles that rarely result in ovulation
- Excessive body or facial hair
- Male pattern hair loss
- Obesity (about 50% of women with PCOS)
Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome
A condition that prevents ovulation altogether, but on your fertility charts may mislead you to believe you are ovulating normally. The tricky thing with this condition is that you may not even be aware that you have it until you try to get pregnant and discover that you aren’t ovulating even though you get what appear to be regular periods.
Premature Ovarian Aging
A condition in which the woman’s ovaries age already in their 20s and early 30s, making it more difficult to conceive. A woman is presumed to have premature ovarian aging if FSH levels are too high or AMH levels are too low. In fact, AMH, especially in younger women, is considered a better predictor of ovarian reserve. The good news is that with an accurate diagnosis, women respond surprisingly well to a comprehensive treatment approach.