Anovulation history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

History and Symptoms

  • For most women, alteration of menstrual periods is the principal indication of chronic anovulation.
  • Ovulatory menstrual periods tend to be regular and predictable in terms of cycle length, duration and heaviness of bleeding, and other symptoms.
  • Ovulatory periods are often accompanied by midcycle symptoms such as mittelschmerz or premenstrual symptoms.
  • In contrast, anovulation usually manifests itself as irregularity of menstrual periods, that is, unpredictable variability of intervals, duration, or bleeding.
  • Anovulation can also cause cessation of periods (secondary amenorrhea) or excessive bleeding (dysfunctional uterine bleeding). Mittelschmerz and premenstrual symptoms tend to be absent or reduced when a woman is anovulatory.
  • In addition to the alteration of menstrual periods and infertility, chronic anovulation can cause or exacerbate other long term problems, such as hyperandrogenism or osteopenia. It plays a central role in the multiple imbalances and dysfunctions of polycystic ovary syndrome.

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