Regulate and Minimize Unwanted Symptoms with your Ovulation and Menstrual Cycle
Are you experiencing menstrual or ovulation problems? If so, you may have a lot of questions. What causes irregular ovulation? How do you know if you’re ovulating if you have irregular periods? It can be a stressful situation, and that stress can lead to a continuation of the menstrual and ovulation disorders you’re trying to handle.
Wonderfully Made Functional Medicine is here to help. Dr. Kathryn Wood is certified by the Reproductive Health Research Institute (RHRI). With compassion and care, she will assess the underlying hormonal issues associated with your particular situation and create a treatment plan to help you recover a healthy hormonal balance.
What is Ovulatory Dysfunction?
In a woman of reproductive age, ovulation is a sign of health! These are the words of Dr. Pilar Vigil, BMed, MD, PHD, FACOG, director of the Reproductive Health Research Institute and FEMM Health. Ovulation problems typically manifest in unhealthy changes to the menstrual cycle. These changes could include heavier or prolonged menses, painful menses, other pelvic pain, skipped or infrequent menses, weight gain, acne, abnormal unwanted hair growth, loss of hair on head, or difficulty conceiving or interpreting your method of FABM (Fertility Awareness Based Method) Ovulation/menstrual disorders such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Endometriosis, and Uterine Fibroids can occur, and these issues basically result from Estrogen dominance and lack of ovulation and therefore lack of adequate progesterone.
The best way to determine if one has an ovulatory dysfunction is to daily chart cervical mucous using a FABM, and FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) utilizes this method in a simple APP to assess for ovulation. Other commonly used methods are the Billings Ovulation Method and the Creighton Model. In-depth lab tests are also necessary to determine the root cause of ovulatory dysfunction.
Root causes of ovulatory dysfunction can be low Vitamin D, elevated prolactin levels, insulin resistance, abnormal cortisol levels, thyroid dysfunction, and inflammation.
At Wonderfully Made Functional Medicine, treatment is designed to determine these root causes and address them. Many times, a healthy low-carb diet with restorative exercise and proper supplementation can bring the body back into balance and healthy ovulation will occur again. Other times, thyroid hormones and other hormones may be necessary to restore ovulation. This functional medicine approach does NOT involve the use of artificial hormonal contraceptives which only band-aid the symptoms and lead to other hormonal imbalances down the road in addition to higher risks of stroke, blood clots, and death. And for those who have utilized hormonal contraceptives, Dr. Wood would like to offer ways to get off of them safely and restore balance and health to your body.
The following websites may be helpful to further understand how complex and wonderful our bodies are, and also, how amazing it is that women are Empowered with ovulation and the ability to achieve health and track it throughout their lifetime!
Depending on your situation, your treatment may consist of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes as well as medical support. Recovering a healthy hormonal function is possible.
Anovulation: Causes and Treatments
Anovulation is the lack of ovulation during a menstrual cycle. During ovulation, an ovary releases an egg (oocyte). It’s not uncommon for a woman to experience anovulation occasionally, but if it occurs over some time, it can cause infertility.
Sudden changes in hormone levels can trigger anovulation. These changes mainly occur in teenage girls at the onset of menses and women approaching menopause. However, anovulation can occur for a variety of other reasons:
* high levels of stress
* bodyweight that’s too high or too low
* unhealthy eating habits
* extreme exercise habits
* a root cause of ovulatory dysfunction
One of the main signs of anovulation is irregular or absent menstrual periods. However, you may seem to menstruate regularly and still experience anovulation. The bleeding irregularities may be caused by an insufficient level of progesterone as there is no egg production. Heavy bleeding can be caused by a buildup in the uterine lining (endometrium).
We have many techniques to determine the underlying cause of your anovulation and treat it.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common metabolic condition in which a hormone imbalance causes ovulation problems and an array of androgenic or male hormone symptoms such as acne, unwanted hair growth (hirsutism), and unwanted hair loss (alopecia). PCOS can be categorized in three ways based on the presence or absence of insulin resistance and its severity. PCOS affects 5- 10% of women in their reproductive years. Symptoms may include:
* No periods, irregular periods, or irregular bleeding
* Obesity or weight gain
* No or irregular ovulation
* High blood pressure
* Insulin resistance
* Thinning hair or male-pattern baldness
* Excess hair on the body and face
* Abnormal cholesterol with high triglycerides
* Acne or oily skin
Treatment for PCOS will depend on symptoms, and there are a wide variety of natural remedies are available for this condition. These may include dietary changes, supplements, adaptogenic herbs, lifestyle changes, and treatments to reduce insulin resistance and to reduce androgenic symptoms.
Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs)
Wonderfully Made Functional Medicine specializes in Fertility Awareness Based Methods, or FABMs, to treat menstrual and ovulation disorders. A FABM is a specific method of charting cervical mucus and other signs of fertility daily to determine what’s happening with your hormone levels throughout the month, and when you are fertile or infertile.
We believe that when it comes to fertility, awareness leads to knowledge. Once you understand your hormone processes, you can take effective action to plan your family. By charting your cervical mucus, temperature or other means of assessing hormone levels, you have a sort of “blueprint” for your hormones. Using a FABM puts your reproductive health and family planning firmly under your control, without the use of hormonal contraceptives.
Numerous Fertility Awareness Based Methods exist, and Dr. Wood can assist you in choosing the one which works best for you. For more information on FABMs, visit these websites:
Contact our New Patient Coordinator
Call us for a consultation to see how we can help. We’ll answer any questions you have, and explain our treatment approach, protocols, fees, and options. Or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you at a time that is convenient for you.
New Patients Call: 972-382-5597