Hormonal Symptoms

Since ovulation (the release of mature eggs) is regulated by hormones, signs of a hormonal imbalance may indicate a deeper infertility issue. The symptoms listed here are attributed to changes in hormone levels.


The occasional pimple may be due to stress or other factors (such as oily skin, clogged pores, or a build-up of bacteria), but chronic acne may be caused by a hormonal imbalance. If acne can’t be connected to stress or other factors, it could be a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an infertility condition caused by an excess of androgens (a male hormone), resulting in multiple small cysts on the ovaries and ovulatory problems. Your healthcare provider may potentially evaluate you for PCOS during your exam.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

Basal body temperature (BBT) refers to the body’s temperature at rest. The BBT is taken before rising in the morning and can give your healthcare provider useful information about hormonal changes that occur around the time of ovulation. The hormonal changes of ovulation cause the body temperature to fluctuate. Doctors can determine whether or not a woman is ovulating in large part by her BBT.

If the BBT (basal body temperature) does not follow a normal pattern basal body temperature, several diagnoses may be considered:

Excessive Hair Growth

Some women have a higher genetic predisposition to masculine hair growth patterns such as the chin and the chest. However, excessive hair growth may suggest that increased amounts of androgens are being produced. Androgens (in the female made by the adrenal gland and ovary) are hormones that are typically thought of as ‘male’ hormones such as testosterone, although both men and women actually produce testosterones, estrogens and other sex hormones in varying amounts. Symptoms of excessive hair growth may be linked to an infertility condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Oily Skin

The oil levels of skin are also controlled by androgens. When androgen levels are higher the skin tends to become oilier. Higher androgen levels are often linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an infertility condition characterized by increased male hormones.

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