Hormones are the most important biochemical messengers and control most of the processes in our body. However, hormonal imbalances can cause problems in women of reproductive age in the following ways:
If the follicles do not develop adequately in the first half of the cycle, ovulation does not occur.
If the second half the cycle (implantation phase/luteal phase) is disturbed, implantation does not occur.
Hyperandrogenemia is an overproduction of male sex hormones in women. Even slight increases in testosterone levels can have a negative impact on egg cell growth and ovulation. This can also lead to other changes such as acne or hair loss. Male hormones are made in women in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a special type of hyperandrogenemia. In this case, we at the Kinderwunsch Intitut Dr Loimer Linz detect significantly more follicles in the ovary than are normally expected (>12). The follicles lie beneath the surface of the ovary like a string of pearls and produce large amounts of male hormones. In some PCOS patients, there is also insulin resistance, i.e. the pancreas produces too much insulin. Like the male hormones, insulin can have an effect on a woman’s body.
Hyperprolactinemia is the overproduction of the hormone prolactin in the pituitary gland. Prolactin triggers the release of the hormones FSH and LH and, if they are released irregularly, can lead to cycle and ovulation disorders. Hyperprolactinemia can be caused by stress, the use of medications (antidepressants, estrogens) or tumours.
Hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction: In order for the normal release of the hormones FSH and LH to take place, a rhythmic release of the hormone GnRH is needed (every 90 minutes). If this rhythm is disturbed, FSH and LH cannot be released normally. The release of both hormones is a prerequisite for egg development and ovulation. Without ovulation, women cannot become pregnant. The trigger for such central regulatory disorders can be stress, malnutrition or excessive exercise.
Underactive or overactive thyroid glands can also lead to changes in ovarian activity and a failure to become pregnant. Normal thyroid function also plays an important part in preventing miscarriage. Thyroid malfunctions are treated at the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer in collaboration with specialists in internal medicine. With proper medication to adjust the thyroid gland, follicle maturation can be improved.