Ovulation Problems and Infertility

Posted on March 15, 2019

Are you struggling with infertility in Vancouver? Ovulation issues are a common cause of infertility in women. Infertility consultation and treatments at PCRM’s clinics in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and Edmonton are available to help you conceive.

Ovulation is regulated by hormones in the body. When hormones are functioning in a normal cycle, an egg grows, ovulation is triggered, and a mature egg is released from the ovary. Typically, one egg will be released each month around the fourteenth day of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

When there is a hormone imbalance or another condition that interferes with ovulation, irregular periods can occur, making it very difficult to conceive. For women with hormone imbalance issues, fertility treatments can help.

Infertility in Vancouver may conjure up feelings of anxiety. Fortunately, many people seeking fertility treatments may not need to go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant if they have an ovulation disorder. There are a few options to resolve this issue with “low tech” treatments.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at possible issues relating to hormone imbalance and possible treatment options.

High Stress

Stress can significantly affect some women’s ability to conceive. The gland in the brain responsible for hormone regulation, the hypothalamus, can be significantly impacted by stress levels. If stress levels reach a certain point, periods can be delayed or disappear altogether. The medical term for this is hypothalamic amenorrhea.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, is a condition associated with irregular ovulation. Women with PCOS may have high egg numbers that show up on ultrasound as tiny cysts (follicles).

Women with PCOS may experience irregular or no periods, irregular bleeding, high blood pressure, excessive growth of hair on face or body, oily skin, acne, weight gain, and thinning hair.


Obesity has been linked to ovulation issues. Abnormal hormone balances can occur when the body is overweight (defined by having a body mass index (BMI)of 30 or higher). Some women with obesity issues may not ovulate because of the hormone imbalance.

It’s also been observed that obese women are more likely to suffer from PCOS. Obesity has also been linked to PCOS. It’s not certain if obesity is a cause of PCOS but women who are obese and have PCOS can have greater difficulties getting pregnant.


Diabetes can affect blood sugar levels as the condition impacts how sugar is processed in the body. Some women with diabetes may experience irregular periods and ovulation, especially if their diabetes is not well controlled.

Overcoming Ovulation Issues with the Induction Process

Ovulation induction involves taking medication, orally or through injections, to stimulate ovulation.

Letrozole is a common treatment for ovulation induction in PCOS. Letrozole is administered orally and results in an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), intended to increase ovarian folliculogenesis. This medication is endorsed by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) as an alternative to clomiphene citrate for fertility treatment.

Women with hypothalamic amenorrhea who do not respond to diet modification and stress reduction, may need injections of FSH to induce ovulation.

Not all women will find that ovulation induction will be sufficient to help them become pregnant, some women will need to explore additional treatment options such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).

Find out more about our fertility treatments

Ovulation issues can make pregnancy difficult. If you have menstrual or ovulation problems or if you have irregular periods and difficulty becoming pregnant, fertility treatments may be able to help. Consider seeing a fertility specialist. For more information about Vancouver fertility treatments, schedule a consultation with us.

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Welcome to the Pacific Fertility Centre for Reproductive Medicine Blog! Nationally and internationally recognized for providing exceptional reproductive care, our team believes in empowering people with the knowledge they need to navigate their unique fertility journeys.

From information on the latest fertility treatments to valuable insights on egg donation, surrogacy, and everything in between, the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine Blog is your ultimate resource for all things reproductive care and support. Read on to learn more, and contact us today if you have any questions or want to schedule a new patient appointment.