How GOOD are your OVARIES – How to know if your ovaries are working to get pregnant
The health of your ovaries is extremely important when you’re trying to get pregnant and have a child. And that’s why on this episode of Fertility TV, I’m going to be telling you if your ovaries are working for you or against you when you’re trying to have a child and grow your family. Before I jump into that, I do want to give a quick shout out to the sponsor of this week’s video, The FertileMind app. It’s an amazing app that can help you. And for all of my followers, that’s right, only you following here right now, they’re giving you a free 30-day trial. All the information and the links and the code are in the description below. Check them out.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the fertility expert. And I’ve been working with couples from all over the world for the last 19 years through my online coaching programs and right here in San Diego at my clinic. And this topic of good ovarian health, good ovaries, and if they’re functioning properly, is something that we discuss on a regular basis, because without that, we’re going to have a hard time conceiving. And that’s exactly why I created this video for all of you today. So what does it mean to have good or bad ovaries? Well, there’s a couple of different meanings when we’re talking about that. The first thing is, are your ovaries functioning properly? That’s the first question that I always like to ask. And sometimes I don’t actually ask it, but by the questions that I ask, I am asking that because that information is what’s going to tell me if they are or aren’t.
So the first thing is, are you ovulating? That’s right. Are you ovulating and releasing that egg? That’s the first sign. And are you ovulating and releasing that egg at a timely fashion? So is that happening regularly and normally every month around the same time of the month? That will make a huge impact to answering this question. And then, are you menstruating properly as well? Because if you’re ovulating regularly, then about two weeks later you should be menstruating. And so this whole process of having a regular ovulation and menstrual cycle is the first question, or questions for that matter, that’s going to tell us or give us a hint if your ovaries are healthy and working well. The next thing is, are there any abnormalities with your ovaries? So there’s a couple of different ways that we assess this.
The first thing is the size of the ovaries. If you’ve been in for a pelvic ultrasound and they’ve measured your ovaries and they start describing them like, oh, they look beautiful, everything looks okay, then that’s basically what they mean. They’re looking at the size. So are they a good size and normal size? Are they too small? Sometimes if hormones aren’t functioning properly, if the ovaries aren’t doing what they need to and you’re not menstruating regularly or at all, then those ovaries will start to shrink in size. So that’s the first thing. The next thing is, are there any other abnormalities on the ovaries? So are they positioned properly? Do they have any cysts? So when we talked about cysts, we do need to clarify a couple things. So sometimes when you have an ovarian cyst, that cyst will come as part of your cycle and disappear at the end of that cycle. Other times, you’ll have a cyst that lingers for a longer period of time or even beyond months or years.
That’s what we don’t want to see happen. So those cysts we do want to take care of, okay? The kind of more simple cysts, those can come and go regularly. And sometimes that’s just a follicle that just hasn’t quite been resolved and it transitions into a cyst, but shortly thereafter it should. So we want to make sure that there’s no ovarian cysts. And if there are, we want to make sure that we address them if needed. I don’t recommend surgery or aspirating them if it’s not needed because that can also damage the ovary itself. And anytime we do procedures on the ovaries, we damage the tissue or remove some tissue, we start to affect our ovarian reserve and our AMH level, so we want to be mindful of that. And then the last piece that we want to look at, or the last more common piece I should say that we want to look at, is endometriosis.
That’s right. We often think of endometriosis in the uterus or on the uterus. But very often we might find it on the ovaries, which could turn into endometriomas, like cysts that are filled with endometriosis. So this is what we want to be mindful of. And then know, if those are there, that we want to take care of them. That’s basically the gist of how to assess if your ovaries are okay. So are there tests that can actually give us an idea if any of these things are happening and beyond that? Well, yes, there are. The first thing is we want to have a pelvic ultrasound, like I mentioned earlier. We want to look at the ovaries to see or allow your OB-GYN to see if there’s anything going on. Additionally, if they do find some things, it’s not uncommon to do some more in-depth imaging, maybe even an MRI to find out if there’s anything more serious there.
And then also, we want to look at labs, blood work. I’m always one to test and find out more information, and so this also comes back to that. But these tests are not any different than what I’ve talked about in previous videos having to do with lab testing. We still want to check estradiol. We still want to check FSH and LH and AMH because those are going to give us an understanding for how those ovaries are functioning. Are you ovulating? Are you menstruating? And what are the health and quality of the follicles or eggs that you are producing? So those are the main evaluations that you want to look at. But what does it all mean for us when we do get back to that information? How does that impact our fertility? I do want to address this age piece, because often we’re led to believe that because you are older, over 35 often they’ll say, that this shows that you have bad eggs, or your egg quality is compromised, or your ovaries don’t function properly.
I want to throw that all away, okay? Because yes, that may be the case, but just because you are 35 or older or 40 or older doesn’t mean that is the case. And we do want to understand what it is for you as an individual, okay? Not to mention that if we are having these issues, if we find that their hormones are off, we’re not ovulating properly, we don’t release eggs properly, maybe we’ve got a cyst or endometriosis, then we want to understand at a deeper level why those things are happening. Just because you have those things occurring doesn’t mean that that is the cause of what’s going on. And this is the thing I want to hit home with all of you on a regular basis, because I still get questions about this all the time, which is egg quality is not necessarily the cause of your fertility issues. Or ovarian reserve is not necessarily the cause of your fertility issues.
What is causing those things to happen? That’s a symptom. And we need to dig deeper to find out the real answers of what is going on so that you can get the support that you need. And there’s a lot of things that we can do for this depending on what the cause is. Coming back to some of the basics of diet and nutrition and lifestyle and sleep and exercise and stress management to supplements to different paths depending on what you need and what the findings are, which is why it’s so important to understand what is going on for you and why it’s happening so you can get the support you need based on your results. Well, these tests, these evaluations and the potential results, if they’re not in our favor, can definitely impact your fertility as it relates to egg quality and quantity. That’s right.
So if your hormone levels aren’t where they want to be, that means maybe that the eggs that your ovaries are producing or the follicles that your ovaries are producing aren’t of great quality. Or if there’s something going on with the ovaries, if they’re too small, if you’ve got cysts, endometriosis, or you’ve had a procedure to them, then that again can impact the quantity of follicles and eggs that your ovaries are producing. So those do have some significant impact, or can, for that matter, into the health of your fertility and how to move beyond that. So we do want to gather that information and understand because understanding and having that knowledge up front will make a significant impact with how you proceed moving forward and the decisions that you make on your fertility journey. So what happens if you are not ovulating? What happens? What do you do if your egg quality is compromised, you’re not menstruating properly, you have cysts or endometriosis? Where do we go from here?
Well, that’s where we want to dig deeper, and hopefully you do too. And if you do, then I want to invite you to join me and my team in the Hope Coaching Program so that we can do the digging for you, so that we can find out why these things are happening, and that we can create a plan to support you based on those findings. If you want to join us, I want to invite you to apply by using the link in the description below. What did you like about this video? What was valuable for you? Comment below and let me know. And more importantly, send me your questions. What fertility questions do you have based on your needs and on this video? Comment below and let me know. If you like this video, give me a thumbs up. If you’re not a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then I want to make sure you are by hitting that bell and subscribing and getting notified when I put out a new video for all of you. And until the next video, stay fertile.