Early Ovulation: Symptoms, Treatment, and Conception
Does early ovulation potentially carry any problems for you?
If you consider conceiving a baby – yes, it does.
But first of all, let’s find out what early ovulation means.
Ovulation: The Earlier, The Better?
Early ovulation: Symptoms
If we take a 28-day cycle as a benchmark, most medical resources state that ovulation occurs in the middle of the cycle, typically on day 14. And the fertile window happens around that time. However, it is not that precise in real life. Ovulation usually happens about 12-16 days before your next period starts.
We do remember, however, that each female is unique and our cycles are all different. A normal cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days. So, depending on your cycle length, you’re usually ovulating on day 11-21 of the cycle. This means your fertile days can be different every cycle too.
If your cycle lasts 21 days or less, it is considered short. This is not unusual, though.
There are some factors that may shorten your cycle:
- temporary illness (for example, flu)
- significant weight change
- hormonal medications
- uterine fibroids
Another important factor is your age.
If you have a shorter cycle, pay special attention to when your ovulation happens.
There are certain signs of ovulation. And today you have a variety of methods to determine the peak of your fertility: from daily basal body temperature measuring to over the counter ovulation predictor tests. Mira fertility tracker measures your actual fertility hormone concentrations and shows your unique hormone curve, so you can get a lab-precision result without leaving your home.
So, track the day of your ovulation, and if it happens before day 11, it means that you have early ovulation. How will it affect your plan to have a baby?
Early ovulation: Conception
As we know, the time between the first day of menstruation and the ovulation is called the follicular phase. It is followed by the ovulation phase when your ovary releases an egg, and then by the luteal phase. Having early ovulation means that you have a short follicular phase.
Why does a short follicular phase hinder conception?
To understand that, let’s recollect: what is happening in your body during the follicular phase.
You start menstruating on the first day of your period, which means the endometrium (the lining of your uterus) starts to shed. In the meantime hormone FSH stimulates the growth of 5-20 follicles in your ovaries. In about 7 days, one dominant follicle stands out, while others die off. The dominant follicle then starts developing into an egg and produces the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen rules in the second week or so of your cycle. Estrogen changes your cervical mucus: it becomes egg white stretchy so it can protect the sperm and facilitate its traveling to the egg.
Estrogen is also in charge of building a new layer of endometrium in your uterus.
You want to have a good endometrial lining developed because this is where a fertilized egg is going to embed and further develop.
So what are the possible complexities of conception, when you ovulate early?
- Your dominant follicle may not have enough time to fully develop into a mature egg; such an egg has chances of not being able to get fertilized.
- With early ovulation, there’s a possibility that you won’t have enough fertile-type mucus. The absence of the right mucus deters sperm from a smooth traveling (from the vagina up through the uterus to the fallopian tubes where it meets the egg).
- Endometrial lining of your uterus may not be developed well enough to support the life of a fertilized egg, so there’s a risk of miscarriage.
If you suspect, that you might have early ovulation, and that can be the reason for your infertility, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, and keep on reading.
Early ovulation: Treatment
First and foremost, start tracking your cycle and ovulation, and do it for several months. Once you have a pattern of your cycles, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor.
Here are the possible scenarios:
1. Irregular periods
You may have irregular cycles due to a number of reasons – health issues and/or medical conditions. And the good news is that some of them can be treated, and some of them may even resolve on their own if you take minimal efforts.
An anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle characterized by the absence of ovulation, and the inability to get pregnant. In other words, the egg is not released from your ovary in this particular cycle. Studies confirm that short ovulatory cycles are associated with an increased risk of anovulation among regularly cycling women.
Anovulation is a common reason for infertility. However, sometimes this problem can be solved just by balancing your diet. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there’s an association between intakes of specific dietary minerals and reproductive hormones in normally menstruating women of reproductive age.
The research also indicates that insufficient intakes of Mn and Na increase the risk of sporadic anovulation. These minerals are abundant in easily accessible food items, so a simple change in your daily ration may actually influence your reproductive hormones and ovulation.
As a matter of fact, you may start experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause while you’re still in your 30s or 40s. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women enter this stage 8-10 years ahead of menopause.
Early ovulation can happen to anyone, but it’s more common for women who start having fewer eggs in their ovaries. You may consult your doctor, and make a special blood test, revealing low egg count. There is a special medical treatment to stimulate ovulation in this case.
4. The short cycle is your peculiarity
You can find out that the short cycle might be just as well the unique feature of your body. If possible, try to find out more about the menstrual cycle and menopause of your mother and other close women in your family. This information may be helpful.
In any case, if you see that your ovulation happens before Day 11 of your cycle, it is a good idea to consult your doctor. They might prescribe some medical treatment or nutrition supplements to boost your natural fertility. Always keep in mind, that you probably need to make certain changes in your lifestyle, habits and food preferences, if you’re planning to use a pregnancy test any time soon.
✔️ Medically Reviewed by Dr Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG and Lauren Grimm, MA
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Women’s Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr Jeelani has authored numerous articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific meetings. A Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr Jeelani is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.
Lauren Grimm is Research Coordinator at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, where she also completed her masters in Medical Sciences. Lauren has worked alongside Dr. Jeelani for the last 3 years, authoring a number of abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific conferences. Lauren will be continuing her education this fall at Rush University Medical College in Chicago, IL as an MD candidate.
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