Late Ovulation: Can it Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant
We know that everything comes in its time. But what if your ovulation seems to be late?
What does it mean? Let’s find out!
Late ovulation and your monthly cycle
As we remember, our cycle starts with the first day of menstruation. The first part of the cycle is the follicular phase (time between the first day of menstruation and ovulation). It is the time when follicles grow in your ovaries until a dominant one stands out.
Then follows ovulation, usually lasting 12-14 hours only, when the dominant follicle breaks and releases an egg, which exits the ovary and travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
During the luteal phase, the follicle closes off and turns into the corpus luteum. This mass of cells grows and produces progesterone, the hormone that makes your uterus ripe and ready for pregnancy. While the egg is on its way to meet the sperm.
If there is no fertilized egg or implantation, there’s no pregnancy, then the uterine lining sheds and menstruation begins. So the luteal phase is the time between your ovulation and the next period.
We remember that all women are unique, and so are their bodies and cycles. Normally, ovulation happens around the middle of your cycle. However, there are so many factors that can delay your ovulation. The ovulation considered late when it happens after day 21.
Reasons for late ovulation
Late ovulation is usually caused by hormonal imbalances, which may be temporary or long-term, depending on the cause. So what are the most common reasons for these imbalances?
We’ve all heard that stress is bad for us. But do you know that stress can seriously affect our hormone levels? From daily emotional frustrations to as simple as traveling or taking new job challenges – all mental ups and downs affect our bodies immensely. Try to keep it in mind and be easy on yourself.
2. Thyroid disorder
The thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck, that produces hormones controlling your metabolism. Your thyroid is closely connected with the pituitary gland.
3. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition caused by the disbalance of reproductive hormones. Too much testosterone produced in a female body may hinder the natural process of ovulation.
With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation.
Prolactin is the primary hormone responsible for breast milk production. Prolactin prevents menstruation, so while you’re nursing, your periods may stop or become light and irregular.
However, a lack of menstruation doesn’t always mean a lack of ovulation. Some women assume that they can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, and this is a top reason for surprise pregnancies among nursing mothers.
Any medications you take may potentially affect your ovulation. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (such as Advil or Motrin) can inhibit ovulation. You should consult your doctor about the potential side effects of your medication if you worry that it can affect the result of a pregnancy test.
If you’ve recently got off the hormonal birth control, the pill may be the reason for your delayed ovulation. Drugs (marijuana, cocaine), and smoking are also extremely bad for healthy ovulation.
Luteal phase defect (LPD)
In rare cases, delayed ovulation may imply that you have a short luteal phase.
You can determine phase length by tracking your cycle. Just count the days between ovulation and the first day of your period. That is how long your luteal phase is.
According to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of North Carolina, the luteal phase lasts between 12 and 14 days for most women. Your luteal phase is short if it lasts less than 10 days.
A short luteal phase doesn’t give the uterine lining a chance to grow and develop enough to support a growing baby. As a result, it can be harder to get pregnant or it might take you longer to conceive. LPD is a condition that can be treated.
How late ovulation affects your chances of getting pregnant
Late ovulation may be the reason for your fertility problems.
While irregular ovulation makes it harder to predict your fertile time, it doesn’t mean you won’t get pregnant. It just may be more difficult to time your fertile window.
There are a few methods to determine the time of ovulation:
- Ovulation predictor kits (OPK)
- Basal body temperature
- Cervical mucus observation
- Fertility Calculator
The average ovulation kit doesn’t offer personalized information. They simply use a threshold to detect LH to estimate if you’re ovulating.
To correctly track your cycle and luteal phase, you need personalized feedback. The Mira Fertility Tracker measures actual LH levels in mIU/mL. Other OPK’s detect ovulation off a static baseline LH, which can cause many false positives. With Mira, you can see your actual hormone levels and curve. You can monitor peaks, declines, and menstruation through the app to detect your luteal phase. Compare to other tracking solutions, you can see your ovulation even your baseline LH varies.
Tracking fertility hormones with the Mira allows you to see your changing hormone patterns for a more accurate ovulation prediction, which can help you conceive.
If you’re concerned about your fertility and ovulation, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor for evaluation.
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Ready to easily, precisely, and automatically track your ovulation cycles? Let Mira take the guesswork out of getting pregnant, so you know exactly when to conceive.
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