Late Period? Or Late Ovulation!

cycle ovulation period


But first…let’s back up and talk about ovulation itself.


Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from our ovary and from there, it may or may not be fertilized. It’s the star of our female cycle and what our body works towards each month. Ovulation is also how we make Progesterone. And without Ovulation or Progesterone, we can’t get pregnant.


Timing of ovulation each cycle will be different from woman to woman, but generally speaking it’s important for there to be consistency around when it takes place. So if we know we typically Ovulate on day 13, it’s important to take note of variations outside of that.


So what does it mean if Ovulation is…late?


Ovulation after day 21 of a menstrual cycle is considered “late ovulation.” But again, we’re looking for abnormalities based on what our individual norm is. So if you usually ovulate on day 13 and a cycle comes where you ovulate on day 18 - that’s important information.


There can be many reasons for late Ovulation. A few I commonly see and things to look out for:


STRESS: Physical or emotional stress can have a huge impact on the hormonal cascade that needs to occur during our cycle to ovulate. Have our demands been exceeding our supply? Have we been burning the candle at both ends without taking time to replenish? Have we been undereating or overexercising? Have we experienced a recent traumatic event?


BREASTFEEDING: It can take some time for our menstrual cycle to regulate after birth, especially if we’re breastfeeding. This is normal and things will fluctuate for a bit when our cycle starts to come back. Allowing a few months for things to get back to homeostasis while keeping an eye on things can be helpful.


MEDICATIONS: Various medications and substances can prevent Ovulation, like NSAIDs, antipsychotics, marijuana, and other drugs. Did you just start taking a new medication? Check with your provider to see if yours affect(s) Ovulation.


Delayed Ovulation can also be caused by PCOS, thyroid dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, certain supplements, xenoestrogens, and more.




WHAT TO DO NEXT: Remember, it took the egg that we ovulated late 3+ months for it to fully mature. Reflecting on what happened from then up until now might provide insight into an event that may have caused a delayed ovulation this cycle.


From here, it’s also important to keep track of how our next cycle goes, and the one after that for the same reasons. It could be a one-off thing. Or it could be that we’re experiencing a shift and this is our new normal.


Or it could be something we really need to address. Taking note of how long our cycles are, when Ovulation is occurring, and if our Luteal Phase - especially - is being affected is really important. Because if it’s shorter, we’re making less Progesterone, which is not great if we’re #TTC. This can also create confusion in understanding if our period is truly late.


The key to better understanding shifts like this is having the data in the first place.  This is why it can be helpful to use a Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to track your cycle. If you’re not catching, your algorithm-based app won’t either.


If you’re dealing with Irregular Cycles, stay tuned for Conscious Conception 2.0, where I’ll be bringing you a toolbox you can use to work out things like delayed Ovulation, short Luteal Phases, and much more.


Have you ever experienced delayed Ovulation? Do you know what caused it?


Not medical advice.


TTC? Get empowered with Conscious Conception, the ultimate fertility blueprint created to help you optimize your fertility and enter pregnancy empowered.


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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here. While the owner of this website tries to keep the information up to date, there may be things that are out-of-date and out of their control.