A Regular Period Means Youre Ovulating Right
When you have fertility concerns and you visit your doctor, unfortunately 9 out of 10 times, youll be told that you are ovulating regularly if youre having your period regularly. You know what, though, that isnt actually the case.
I recently got this question from one of you on on of my YouTube videos :
How is a period possible if you havent ovulated?
Well, the short answer is: technically periods without ovulation arent periods, they are breakthrough bleeding. To explain this, I need to give you a recap of which hormones go where and when in your cycle.
How Are Ovulatory Disorders Diagnosed
Your menstrual history is very important to your physician when it comes to diagnosing possible ovulatory disorders. If you have regular cycles, its unlikely that you are not ovulating. But if your cycles are irregular, testing will be needed to diagnose whether or not there is a problem with ovulation. You may need one or more of the following tests:
- FSH blood level: This blood test measures the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone in your blood. This helps measure ovarian reserve, meaning the number of eggs that you have in storage.
- Progesterone blood level: The P4 test measures the amount of progesterone in your blood to determine if ovulation has occurred.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound is a scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to see if follicles in your ovaries are developing. Physicians also use ultrasound to evaluate ovarian function. For example, PCOS has a classic appearance on ultrasound.
What are the most common problems with ovulation and how can they be treated?
Anovulation: This is a disorder in which eggs do not develop properly or are not released from the follicles of the ovaries, signifying that ovulation is not occurring. Women with this disorder may not menstruate for several months. Others may menstruate even though they are not ovulating. While anovulation may result from PCOS, ovarian insufficiency , hormonal imbalances, eating disorders, and other medical disorders, it may also be unexplained.
- Course of Treatment: For PCOS,
Fertility And Chances Of Conceiving
Late ovulation can affect a persons fertility and ability to conceive.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that problems with ovulation, such as late or missed ovulation, are the most common causes of female infertility.
Women who have long or irregular cycles can struggle to know when they have ovulated. This makes conception challenging because they do not know when to time intercourse.
However, late ovulation does not make conception impossible. Many women with irregular ovulation will successfully conceive.
Ovulation predictor kits can help individuals determine when they ovulate, enabling them to more accurately time sexual intercourse.
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How Do I Clean My Uterus After A Miscarriage
If youve had a miscarriage, your provider may recommend:
A Spike In Your Basal Body Temperature
Take your basal body temperature with a basal body thermometer first thing in the morning, before you eat, talk, or even get out of bed. Chart your temperature all month long.
When you notice a slight increase, usually half a degree to a whole degree, you may have ovulated. Because this method only shows that ovulation has already occurred, its not a good way to predict your fertile window. It may help you understand your bodys typical timing for ovulation in future cycles, though.
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Can I Get Pregnant Just After My Period Has Finished
Yes, although its not very likely. If you have sex without using contraception, you can conceive at any time during your menstrual cycle, even during or just after your period.
You can also get pregnant if you have never had a period before, during your first period, or after the first time you have sex.
Theres no safe time of the month when you can have sex without contraception and not risk becoming pregnant.
But there are times in your menstrual cycle when youre at your most fertile, and this is when youre most likely to conceive.
Get To Know Your Cervix
Ovulation isn’t an entirely hidden process, and there are some definite physical signs of ovulation. As your body senses the hormone shifts that indicate an egg is about to be released from the ovary, it begins prepping for the incoming hordes of sperm to give the egg its best chance of being fertilized.
One detectable sign of ovulation is the position of the cervix itself. During the beginning of a cycle, your cervix that neck-like passage between your vagina and uterus that has to stretch during birth to accommodate your baby’s head is low, firm and closed. But as ovulation approaches, it pulls back up, softens a bit and opens just a little, to let the sperm through on their way to their target. Some women can easily feel these changes, while others have a tougher time. Check your cervix daily, using one or two fingers, and keep a record of your observations.
The other cervical ovulation symptom you can watch for is a change in mucus. Cervical mucus, which you’ll notice as discharge, carries the sperm to the egg deep inside you. After your period ends, you’ll have a dry spell, literally you shouldn’t expect much, if any, cervical mucus. As the cycle proceeds, you’ll notice an increase in the amount of mucus, with an often white or cloudy appearance and if you try to stretch it between your fingers, it’ll break apart.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
If youre experiencing irregular, heavy or excessively painful periods that are disrupting your life, be sure to see your healthcare provider for treatment.
If youre having issues conceiving, reach out to your provider. You may be experiencing anovulation.
If youve been treated for anovulation and are still having issues conceiving, contact your healthcare provider or fertility specialist.
How Does It Affect Menstruation
Late ovulation may also affect menstruation.
Some people with late ovulation may have heavy bleeding during their period. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, this occurs because levels of the hormone estrogen rise during the first part of the menstrual cycle, causing the lining of the uterus to thicken.
Then, ovulation triggers the bodys release of another hormone, progesterone. This hormone supports the uterus to maintain a pregnancy, should one occur.
However, late or missed ovulation means that the body does not secrete progesterone. Instead, it continues to release estrogen, causing more blood to build up in the uterine lining.
At a certain point, the lining becomes unstable and leaves the body as a heavier-than-normal menstrual period.
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What Is An Irregular Period
Ovulation PredictorLets start by defining what an irregular period actually is. You dont need a 28-day cycle to be regular. Only about 15 percent of women have a 28-day cycle, says George Carson, a Regina-based OB/GYN. In fact, the normal length of a cycle can vary between 22 to 35 days. So, as long as your cycle falls within that window and runs about the same length each time, its regular.
But, if you cant count your cycle and pinpoint within a day or two when your next period will come, you may be irregular. While there are conditions that can affect the regularity of your periodincluding stress, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome , fibroids and moreeven if your irregular cycle isnt the result of a health condition, it can affect your fertility.
What Are The Signs That You Are Ovulating
If you see the usual signs of ovulation, chances are you are ovulating. These include:
- A surge in LH hormone. An ovulation test detects whether there is a surge in Luteinizing hormone . This happens 12-24 hours before you ovulate. If, however, you have PCOS you may get misleading results if you use an ovulation test due to high levels of LH throughout the cycle. This is why OTs are not recommended if you have been diagnosed with PCOS.
- Regular periods. If youre ovulating, youre likely to have a relatively predictable menstrual cycle thats around every 24 to 32 days. , or very long or short cycles, may be a sign you may not be ovulating. However, anovulation is possible even if your periods are normal length and regular.
- Change in basal body temperature. Your bodys temperature at rest increases slightly after ovulation. However, many other factors can cause an increase in body temperature so this is not a very accurate measure.
- Changes in vaginal secretions. Just before you ovulate, you may notice you have more clear, wet, and stretchy vaginal secretions. After you ovulate, you may see the cervical mucus becomes thicker, cloudier, and not as noticeable. Tracking is difficult and requires expert guidance so it may be difficult to confirm ovulation using this method. It is also important to note that changes in vaginal discharge can be a sign of infection, so if abnormal, consult your doctor.
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Do Regular Periods Mean Im Fertile
Fertility can be a tricky subject and two questions that I often hear are I have regular periods does that mean I am fertile? and if I have regular periods, why arent I pregnant
Theres a very good chance if you are experiencing a regular monthly period, you are fertile. While it is true that women have a finite number of eggs, lack of conception is predominately due to other causes.
From the moment a girl is born, she typically has between one and two million eggs in her ovaries. As she begins to grow, she will begin to lose these eggs so that by the time she hits puberty, she will be left with 300,000 to 500,000. Each month, menstruation, or your period occurs when your body releases one of these eggs along with the lining of your uterus because the egg has not become fertilised.
Before you begin to worry that you might be infertile, know that only about 10% of couples are affected by infertility. Unless there are complications that you are aware of, we recommend that you continue trying for at least a twelve months if you are younger than 35 before you look further into the possibility of infertility.
In some cases though, there are good reasons for asking your GP for a referral to a specialist and getting the answers you need sooner rather than later. If you have experienced pelvic infections, endometriosis, or pelvic surgeries, these can lead to scarring and damaging of the fallopian tubes.
Fertility can be a tricky subject
Ovulation Without A Period
Again, since your period results from ovulation, it is uncommon to ovulate without having a period, but not impossible. Factors such as uterine scarring or becoming pregnant can cause your period not to occur.
If you have had a dilation and curettage procedure, a C-section or reproductive disease, you may have scarring on your uterus. If so, the usual thickening of the uterus lining that normally happens after ovulation does not occur. You may ovulate without having a period, or you might have a light period.
You also may ovulate without periods if your ovaries release an egg between 12 to 16 days before you expect your period to begin.
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Medical Tests For Ovulation
Medical tests can check whether or not ovulation took place. These tests can include:
- blood test to check for the presence of progesterone. A level greater than 20 nmol/L indicates that ovulation took place. This test must be taken about three to 10 days before the first day of the next expected period
- pregnancy ultrasound the presence of a foetus is the only absolute proof that ovulation took place. Medical tests such as ovulation predictor kits and blood tests can only ascertain that ovulation probably not definitely occurred.
How Many Days Of Your Cycle Can You Get Pregnant
Some of these risks include: What days of your cycle can you get pregnant? There are just 6 days during any cycle when you can get pregnant the 5 days that lead up to ovulation along with the 24 hours after ovulation. It is mainly because sperm can live in your body for up to 5 days while the ovum lives for just 12-24 hours.
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Signs Of Ovulation You Should Definitely Know
Ovulation is a normal part of your menstrual cycle, but how much do you really know about itother than the fact that it happens on a monthly basis? Apparently theres a lot going on in your body when your ovary releases an eggsome things you may notice and others you probably dont.
Ovulation usually happens at the mid-point of your cycle, which would be 14 days before the start of your period if you have an average 28-day cycle, according to the Mayo Clinic. But if you dont have a 28-day cycle , it can happen in the four days before or after that mid-point. However, every woman is different, and its also possible that you can ovulate anywhere between day 11 through day 21 of your cycle, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
If youre taking a hormonal birth control pill and using it as directed, youre not ovulating, Lauren Streicher, M.D., an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. The hormones in the pill, particularly progesterone, are tricking your body into thinking youre pregnant, she explains. And obviously, when youre pregnant, you dont ovulate. While you still ovulate with the copper IUD, hormonal IUDs are thought to partially suppress ovulation, according to the Mayo Clinic, which means it can happen occasionally.
So whether youre trying to get pregnant or just the opposite, heres whats going on in there when you ovulate.
Can I Ovulate Without A Period
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