Are you consistently having late and irregular periods and trying to conceive with no positive results? Or is your menstrual period heavier than normal? These all can be the signs of Late Ovulation.
Late ovulation is exasperating and might be concerning, but it’s more common than you think. It occurs when the person ovulates close to their next menstrual period, usually ovulating after day 21 of the menstrual cycle.
To understand more about delayed ovulation, we need to understand the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and their link with conceiving.
What is Ovulation?
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of a period and ends on the next start of your menstruation. The average cycle is 28 days long; however, the cycle may range from 21 to 37 days. Start tracking your menstrual cycle to know when you’re going to ovulate.
Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary to the fallopian tube, where the sperm can fertilize it. This usually happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle. For example, if your menstrual cycle is 28 days, then there is the greatest chance of ovulating on the 14th.
To get pregnant, it is ideal to have inter-course three days before and up to the day of ovulation as the male sperm can live for three to five days in a woman’s reproductive organs; however, the female egg lives for just 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. (Better hurry up to catch the egg!)
How to know your Ovulation time?
The most common method to detect ovulation is taking your basal body temperature. This involves measuring your core body temperature before going to sleep and about three hours later. You’ve probably ovulated if it rises above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8°C). But many factors affect the accuracy of this test. For example, some people don’t produce enough body heat, leading to false negatives. Other factors include whether you eat breakfast, how much alcohol you drink, and what medications you take.
Another way to know when you’re ovulating is to use a fertility monitor. These devices measure changes in cervical mucus and vaginal discharge and alert you via text messages or phone calls when ovulation occurs. They’re often paired with a calendar app that lets you see what days you’re fertile based on your cycle length. However, these monitors aren’t always reliable because they rely on your body’s natural rhythms rather than tracking hormones like estrogen and progesterone levels.
A third option is to buy an ovulation predictor kit online. Some kits contain strips that change color when they come into contact with certain substances found in your body during ovulation. Others use sticks that turn blue when picking up luteinizing hormone (LH) traces. Still, others use digital tests that tell you when you’re ovulating based on the amount of LH in your urine.
Not everyone has these ideal situations, about 25% to 30% of couples trying to conceive experience ovulatory disorders.
Does late Ovulation affect Fertility?
Late ovulation can affect a woman’s fertility and ability to become pregnant. It’s one of the most common reasons couples seek medical help to conceive.
The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist (ACOG) state in their guidelines that “problems with ovulation, including delayed or absent ovulation, are the single most important cause of female infertility.” They explain that “late ovulation occurs when ovulation does not occur within 12 hours of the previous menstrual period.”
Women with long or irregular periods can struggle to know when they have ovulated. This makes conception difficult because they do not know how many days they have left to conceive.
However, late ovulation does NOT mean you cannot get pregnant. Many women with irregular cycles will successfully conceive.
So what is causing Delayed Ovulation?
There can be numerous reasons for late ovulation, which might include:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)
As frightening as it sounds, PCOS affects 1 out of every 10 women of child bearing age. It is a common health problem caused by the abnormal balance of hormones. PCOS can cause irregular or missed menstrual periods, which may lead to infertility or cysts in the ovaries. If you’re facing symptoms such as excess hair growth on the face, chest, or abdomen, irregular or no periods, arcane weight gain, or acne, don’t waste time and go visit your doctor as this is completely curable.
Many medications may lead to delayed ovulation. They might include steroids, antidepressants, thyroid medications, chemotherapy, or other cancer treatments. If you’re facing delayed ovulation and are taking any of these drugs, consult your doctor.
Isn’t it astonishing what stress can do to our bodies? Extreme stress, whether physical or emotional, may contribute to many health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and it may even disturb our hormones and menstrual cycles. Avoid all stress factors during preconception and keep yourself calm and relaxed to conceive. This can be done by meditation, exercise, and keeping your mind diverted to things of your interest.
If you have an underactive thyroid, your thyroid cannot make an efficient amount of hormones to meet your body’s needs. The smidgen amount of thyroid hormones disturbs the menstrual cycle causing the ovulation late. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, muscle pains, weight gain, and depression. It can be diagnosed by performing laboratory tests and treated with medications if consulted with a doctor.
Age, weight, and breastfeeding are other causes of your ovulation being late, but none of the causes is immedicable.
Now you might be wondering if you can get pregnant by ovulating late
The answer to this is YES! You’ll get pregnant if you’re ovulating, even if it’s late. The long and irregular cycles make it hard for you to track your ovulation and predict the best time to have sex so the egg and sperm can meet, but ovulation kits are available to help you determine when you’ve ovulated.
Late ovulation does not make conceiving impossible; many women with irregular ovulation have conceived successfully.
So just relax, sit back and enjoy your cup of coffee, as late ovulation can be cured with multiple handlings.
How to get pregnant with late ovulation?
Although late ovulation can cause pregnancy delays, it doesn’t mean that conception is impossible.
There’s a good chance you’ll be able to conceive even if you ovulate later in your cycle; the key is to be as in tune with your body as possible.
By keeping a close eye on certain physical changes, you’ll be able to tell when you’re finally ovulating. Pay attention to your vaginal discharge, which should be light, clear, and stretchy when ovulating. You should also note how your cervix feels – it will be soft and open. Be sure to track your symptoms in the Flo app, as you might notice a pattern in the dates.
The egg can be fertilized within 12-24 hours after being released. So, by taking advantage of your high sex drive, you can optimize the chances of getting pregnant even with late ovulation.
How to treat late ovulation?
The treatment depends on its cause. Some people are prescribed medications to help them release an egg before time or more frequently. Others are suggested to change their lifestyles, maintain weight, or follow a specific diet. Even if none of it works, conceiving through IVF might be suggested.
Every woman can face late ovulation. For some, it might be temporary, but for others, it may last longer. Start tracking your menstrual cycle from today and consult a healthcare provider if you’re getting issues in conceiving and experiencing late or heavy periods.
Can early ovulation also affect fertility?
Early ovulation is ovulating during your period, which is extremely rare but possible. This happens when the body produces too many follicles, or immature eggs, causing one or more of those eggs to mature prematurely.
While early ovulation can happen in anyone, it’s most common among people with diminished ovarian reserve. These women tend to produce smaller numbers of eggs each month. They also have a greater chance of having leftover eggs from previous cycles, which could cause multiple pregnancies.
A blood test can help determine whether you have a diminished ovarian reserve by checking for specific markers associated with low egg counts. If you have a low egg count, your doctor might recommend taking fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries into producing more eggs. However, these drugs don’t increase the number of eggs you have; they just ensure that some of your remaining eggs become mature enough to release viable sperm.