Can Early Ovulation Affect Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
Early ovulation is ovulating while youre still on your period, which is very uncommon but possible. Ovulating early may lower your chances of getting pregnant because there isnt as much uterine lining when an egg is fertilized, making it harder for the egg to attach to the uterine wall.
While early ovulation can happen to anyone, its more common in women who are starting to have a diminished ovarian reserve . A blood test can check for certain markers linked to low egg count. Your practitioner may also prescribe medication to stimulate ovulation although it wont increase the number of eggs you have.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect Before You’re Expecting, 2nd edition, Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.
- Elizabeth Ginsburg, M.D., American Society for Reproductive Medicine spokesperson, Medical Director, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Boston, MA.
- , FACOG, reproductive endocrinologist, HRC Fertility, Orange County, CA.
How Do I Know If Im Ovulating
As an adult, you are probably ovulating most of the time if your cycle is generally within range . Cycle that are consistently outside of those ranges âcan be an indication of anovulation, and a reason to talk to your healthcare provider.
To know if youâre ovulating , you might try:
Tracking your cycle length and regularity in Clue
Using ovulation urine tests, bought at your pharmacy
Tracking your physical signs of fertility for a few cycles, including your basal body temperature and cervical fluid
Having your healthcare provider check your hormonal profile
Changes In Body Temperature
When youve just ovulated, your body temperature may increase very slightly, by about half a degree Celsius. If youre using temperature as a means of keeping track of when you are most fertile, you need to use a special thermometer to take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. If you record the readings every day using a graph or a spreadsheet, its possible to learn your pattern over time. The time when you are most fertile is 2 to 3 days before the rise in temperature.
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Signs Of Ovulation To Look Out For
Here are the seven main ovulation symptoms lookout for:
- Your basal body temperature falls slightly, then rises again.
- Your cervical mucus becomes clearer and thinner with a more slippery consistency similar to that of egg whites.
- Your cervix softens and opens up.
- You may feel a slight twinge of pain or mild cramps in your lower abdomen.
- Your sex drive may increase.
- You may notice some light spotting.
- Your vulva or vagina may appear swollen.
Should I Watch For Any Problems
Most girls don’t have any problems with their periods. But call your doctor if you:
- are 15 and haven’t started your period
- have had your period for more than 2 years and it still doesn’t come regularly
- have bleeding between periods
- have severe cramps that don’t get better with ibuprofen or naproxen
- have very heavy bleeding
- have periods that last more than about a week
- have severe PMS that gets in the way of your everyday activities
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Can I Get Pregnant Just After My Period Has Finished
Yes, although it’s 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.
There’s 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 you’re at your most fertile, and this is when you’re most likely to conceive.
What This Study Adds
The timing of the fertile window is highly variable, even among women who regard their menstrual cycles as regular
More than 70% of women are in their fertile window before day 10 or after day 17 of their menstrual cycle
There are few days of the menstrual cycle during which some women are not potentially fertile
Regarding the second assumption, the evidence for fertile days after ovulation comes from studies using crude measures of ovulation . With more precise measures, the fertile window does not seem to extend beyond the day of ovulation., It follows that women reach their fertile days earlier in the cycle than suggested by current guidelines. For example, women with regular 28 day cycles are most likely to be potentially fertile on days 8-15 of their menstrual cycle .
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When Do You Ovulate And How Long Does It Last
Knowing when you ovulate and how long ovulation lasts is crucial for detecting your fertile window. The fertile window includes the 5 days before ovulation, and the day of ovulation itself. Peak fertility includes the 2 3 days just before you ovulate.
When you ovulate, the process of the egg bursting out of the follicle is complete within a matter of minutes or hours. After the egg is released from the ovary, it must be fertilized by a sperm within 12 24 hours.
If youre trying to conceive, its more important to know when the fertile window occurs than when you ovulate. Luckily, the fertile window lasts longer than ovulation itself6 days compared to just a few hours. The reason for this is that sperm can live inside the female reproductive tract for up to five days. Your best chances for pregnancy occur when sperm is waiting in your fallopian tubes before ovulation occurs.
What Can You Do If You Ovulate Late In Your Cycle
If you have PCOS, your doctor may prescribe metformin to help you get pregnant. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, and metformin improves the cells’ response to insulin. It also helps balance your hormone levels. Your doctor may prescribe clomiphene citrate or letrozole, both of which can help stimulate ovulation.
Many women with PCOS are overweight. If thats the case for you, your practitioner will likely work with you on a diet and exercise plan to lose weight. Losing as little as five pounds can significantly increase your odds of ovulating, since it helps balance out your hormone levels, and it improves your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
If you have hyperprolactinemia, your doctor will prescribe medicine to lower your bodys prolactin production and shrink the tumor in your brain. If you have hypothyroidism, a pill can control your thyroid hormone levels. In both cases, medication normalizes your cycles so you ovulate regularly which makes it much easier to time sex and conceive.
If your doctor thinks you have regular periods with a short luteal phase, she may prescribe progesterone to lengthen the amount of time your uterine lining builds up each cycle, giving your eggs better odds of attaching to the uterine wall. Your practitioner might also prescribe clomiphene citrate to stimulate ovulation.
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How Ovulation Works: The Basics
Tiny eggs develop in sacs called follicles in your ovaries. Follicles develop for several months before they are ready to release their egg, . At any given time, there are follicles at several stages of development in your ovaries .
Early scientists once mistook the follicle for the egg itself.
Follicles undergo incredible changes leading up to ovulation, developing many parts and layers, each with their own functions. Most follicles, though, will never reach ovulation, dying off at different phases of development or pre-development.
At the beginning of each menstrual cycle, a few developing follicles are considered candidates for that cycleâs ovulation . By about midway through the follicular phase, one follicle becomes dominant.
Just like a superstar athlete being selected from the pack, all resources then go to preparing that single follicle, and the other potentials die off.
When the follicle is ready, it releases its egg. The egg travels out of the ovary and is taken up by the fallopian tube . After its release, the egg has about 12â24 hours to be fertilized by sperm in the fallopian tube. If the egg isnât fertilized within this short window, it begins to degrade. If it is fertilized, it travels to the uterus over the following 6â12 days, to possibly implant for pregnancy .
The details we don’t learn in school are pretty fascinating.
This first part of the cycle is called the follicular phase .
What Happens During Ovulation
Ovulation is a monthly occurrence for women of childbearing age. It usually takes place around day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle. During this process, an egg is released from one of your ovaries and travels from your fallopian tube to your uterus.
The release of an egg isnt a spontaneous occurrence. Rather, different factors take place prior to ovulation. Follicles in one of your ovaries start to mature between days 6 and 14 of your menstrual cycle.
Around days 10 and 14, an egg develops from one of these follicles. This egg is then released from the ovary on day 14.
Some women dont give much thought to their menstrual cycle or track ovulation. But ovulation plays a big role in conception. So if youre planning a family, it helps to know how long ovulation lasts.
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Your Ovulation Timing Depends On The Length Of Your Cycle
Ovulation is when one of your ovaries releases an egg.
You only ovulate once per cycle. You may release more than one egg at a time . But youll never ovulate, then ovulate again without having a period in between.
Ovulation occurs near the middle of your cycleafter your follicular phase, and before your luteal phase. The events play out like this:
Your cycle starts with your period.
Day 1 is considered the first day of steady bleeding . Periods last 5 days on average, but anywhere between 2 and 7 days is normal.
Your follicular phase varies in length.
It starts when your period starts , and ends with ovulation. The length of your follicular phase depends on how quickly youre able to make enough of the hormones that activate your folliclessacs in the ovaries that each contain an egg. Once activated, one dominant sac will rupture and release its egg.
Ovulation takes about 1 day.
The release of an egg triggers the production of hormones that prepare the body for a potential pregnancy.
Those pregnancy hormones rise and fall during your luteal phase.
They rise during the first half of the luteal phase, and you may feel a natural high and more energy as a result. Then they fall during the second half, and you may experience PMS symptoms.
If no egg was fertilized that cycle, pregnancy hormones are no longer needed. Their levels will continue to fall, which will trigger a period, and the cycle starts over again.
Basal Body Temperature Or Bbt
BBT is more accurate if you can be disciplined and regularly chart your daily temperature very early in the morning. Its vital to check daily after youve had enough time to rest and before daily activity starts.
Basal body temperature can predict ovulation by fall in temperature. After ovulation, your body temperature changes again. If there rise in temperature in your chart, it indicates youve ovulated.
Changes In The Cervix
During ovulation, your cervix may become higher, softer and more open. You can check your cervix, along with your mucus, for ovulation symptoms, but it can take time to learn the differences youre feeling for and is often more difficult than watching for the other signs of ovulation mentioned above. If youd like to try and get more comfortable checking for cervical changes as a sign of ovulation, Moore recommends standing in whatever position you use to insert a tampon and using your finger to feel inside. In many women with a regular cycle, right before ovulation the cervix will be softer, like touching your lips, but after ovulation it will feel harder, more like touching the tip of your nose. An OB can also check for cervical changes using a speculum and help give you more guidance on how to do it at home.
Light Spotting Or Discharge
Brown discharge or spotting during ovulation is normal, if not that common. This ovulation symptom can occur when the follicle that surrounds and protects the developing oocyte, or egg, matures, grows and then ruptures, resulting in a small amount of bleeding. As blood gets older, it turns brown, which is why the ovulation discharge may range from red to dark brown. Its not a cause for concern unless the spotting persists, in which case you should see a physician to check for signs of infection and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy if youve been sexually active.
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Right After Your Period Ends
Many women look forward to having contraception-free sex right after their period ends. Its true that its unlikely youll get pregnant a day or two after menstruation stops, but given the lifespan of sperm and the challenges around predicting ovulation exactly its not at all impossible.
This is especially true if you ovulate earlier than you usually do, or if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle of around 21 days.
What Causes A Period
A period happens because of changes in in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the female hormones and . These hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach to and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again.
It usually takes about a month for the lining to build up, then break down. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
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What Is The Normal Period Cycle Length
Period cycle is the number of days between periods. Because it may vary from woman to woman, its important to calculate whats normal for you.
Lets say you normally have period every 30 days. This means that your period cycle length is 30 days.
The truth is, most women do have periods every 28 days. So, understanding whats normal for you is important to predict when after period you will ovulate.
To calculate period cycle length, you have to monitor or chart the first day period starts for about six months.
To check if your cycle is regular, count the number of days between periods. Though its possible your period cycle will be either longer or shorter in some months, you can tell if its regular or not.