Ovulation is the 21-day period when the egg gets released from the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tubes. When the sperm meets the egg, the zygote gets implanted into the uterus. The endometrial wall thickens as a result and pregnancy begins. However, in many cases, fertilization doesn’t happen and the egg gets released from the uterus lining, leading to periods in women.
Usually, ovulation starts at Day 14 during the 28-day menstrual cycle, but sometimes due to a number of reasons, this may be delayed. That’s when we call this late ovulation.
What Is Late Ovulation?
Late ovulation happens if you ovulate anywhere between the Day 21 to Day 35 mark. It doesn’t mean you’re infertile, but it does say that you don’t know when your next menstrual cycle will happen. Ovulation generally happens after the 21st day of your menstrual cycle.
The release of certain hormones like estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone are what lead to the mature eggs getting released from the ovaries. Menstrual cycles are typically 28 days long, but ovulation happens on day 14. However, sometimes this may take longer, taking even more than a month which is when it’s a good idea to look into your conception options and treatment.
If you’re wondering “If after late ovulation, can I still get pregnant? The answer is – yes.
What Are the Causes of Late Ovulation?
There are several causes linking late ovulation in women, but the most common ones are:
Stress is one of the leading causes of menstrual disorders in women. Be it physical, emotional, or mental, stress is bad for you and it’s not just with regards to fertility or hormonal health.
2. Thyroid Disorders
The pituitary gland is responsible for creating hormones that make a woman fertile and ready for conception. Any thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism affect this natural process, thus causing problems with ovulation.
Breastfeeding lowers fertility in women since the body is busy producing prolactin for more breast milk. It’s normal for nursing moms to not have any periods or undergo menstrual cycles when they breastfeed.
4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects the ovaries and alters its functioning. It is characterized by high levels of male hormones in women, enlargement of the ovaries, and irregular menstrual cycles. Women with PCOS do not experience periodic ovulation and face problems getting pregnant. 1 in 10 women is prone to PCOS. In short, PCOS is characterized by an imbalance in hormonal levels in women, sometimes even leading to the buildup of small cysts in the ovaries.
Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, drugs, anti-psychotic substances, and things like marijuana and cocaine influence the menstrual cycles in women, thus tampering with the ovulation phase and halting it.
What Are Late Ovulation Symptoms?
Some of the late ovulation and pregnancy symptoms in women include:
1. More Vaginal Secretions
These secretions become usually clear, white, and signal that you’re going to ovulate soon. The mucus in your cervix is designed to assist the sperm in meeting the egg.
2. Heightened Basal Body Temperature
Basal body temperature is your default body temperature when you’re at rest or asleep. This will increase when you’re close to the ovulation phase or already underway. Monitor your temperature before you get out of bed and keep tabs on it to identify if you’re ovulating.
3. Pain in the Lower Abdomen
Pain on the sides of your abdomen or the lower regions are signs of ovulation getting closer. Sometimes this feels one-sided and sharp and in other cases, breakthrough bleeding follows.
How Late Ovulation Affects Fertility and Conception
Late ovulation affects fertility and conception in the following ways:
- You have a difficult time anticipating your menstrual cycles. This creates a challenge when you want to know the exact time period when you can get pregnant.
- You’ll also have a harder time getting pregnant and it may require multiple attempts by your partner to conceive successfully.
What Are the Possible Consequences of Delayed Ovulation?
Some of the possible consequences of delayed ovulation include:
- You will experience a heightened sex drive and increase in breast sensitivity.
- You’ll have a hard time tracking your menstrual cycles.
- You’ll release eggs which haven’t matured and don’t get implanted into the uterus.
- Late maturity of eggs causes hormonal levels to go out of balance or sync.
- Your endometrial lining won’t thicken or be ready for the fertilized egg to implant into the uterus. When delayed ovulation happens and a lot of time passes, the fertilized egg passes through the uterus instead of getting implanted since the uterus lining is not ready, leading to an increased risk of miscarriage.
- There are no conclusive studies connecting late ovulation to fetal anomalies which may be a concern for expecting moms.
- You’ll to try conceiving multiple times in order to get pregnant.
- You’ll need to wait longer for the sperm to fertilize the egg since ovulation could happen around day 20 or beyond.
- When to Consult a Doctor for Medical Treatment?
You should consult a doctor for delayed ovulation pregnancy cases if:
- You’ve been trying to conceive for a whole year without using any birth control pills.
- You suspect your partner to be infertile.
- You have been taking certain drugs, supplements, or medications.
- You have any existing medical condition that is related to your delayed ovulation.
- You notice abnormal bleeding every few hours.
- You experience excruciating pain in the abdomen during periods.
- You haven’t had a period since the last 90 days.
- Your menstrual cycles are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35.
- You suspect you’re infertile or cannot conceive.
- Your ultrasound scans turn out abnormal.
Before consulting a doctor for medical treatment, you may consider using ovulation predictor kits. These have sticks which you dip into the urine while going to the bathroom. When you use these over several weeks, it gets easier to track when you’re ovulating since they determine the presence of luteinizing hormones. Follow the instructions given in the label and do the tests early in the morning (since that’s when urine concentrations are high) for best results.
What Are the Treatments Available for Late Ovulation?
If you have any existing medical conditions like thyroid disorders or PCOS, your doctor will likely create a treatment plan to resolve that since those will be the underlying causes. If there is no specific cause and you still can’t conceive, you may be given medications like Clomiphene (Clomid), letrozole, and human chorionic gonadotropins.
Here are some other ways to boost your reproductive health:
1. Beat Stress
Take up some yoga, go to painting classes, and get those creative juices flowing. You can do relaxation or therapeutic routines like Tai Chi and Qi Gong if you feel stressed out a lot.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Too little sleep, insomnia, and sleep deprivation are known to mess with your hormonal levels, thus impacting your quality of life and ovulation. Make sure to get enough sleep and take power naps throughout the day, or mini-naps if needed.
3. Avoid Pushing Yourself Too Hard
This means no vigorous exercise. Moderate exercise is fine if you’re overweight or obese but don’t be sedentary either. Strike for a good balance and stay active.
4. Use Barrier-type Contraceptives
Use condoms when having sex to avoid getting any sexually transmitted diseases. STDs are responsible for reducing fertility and your chances of getting pregnant.
5. Eat Healthily
This means meeting your nutritional RDA and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables. Add nuts and seeds, legumes and lentils and grass-fed meats. When eating healthy, be sure to take your supplements like folic acid and your prenatal vitamins. And lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol.
6. Say No to Smoking
Because it impacts your fertility and your chances of getting pregnant, that’s why.
Does late ovulation affect pregnancy test? Yes, because you won’t test positive for pregnancy until you start ovulating and a certain number of days go by until you reach the conception stage. If your ovulation occurs after the end of the month, you will have to do a pregnancy test again.
Not ovulating or being unable to get pregnant is a disheartening experience for many women, but don’t lose hope. There is still time; in fact, if you wait patiently and follow your doctor’s treatment plan, things usually work out in the end. Every woman is different, which means sometimes you just have to be patient before you see good results. There are cases where women start ovulating after a whole month and delayed ovulation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infertile either. It’s just that it’s taking a bit of time, that’s all.