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Why Haven’t I Ovulated Yet This Month?

Why Haven’t I Ovulated Yet This Month?

Kindara | July 7, 2021 | trying to conceive
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When you’re trying to conceive, any irregularity in your ovulation schedule can spur feelings of anxiety and doubt — Is something wrong? Should you be concerned about your fertility? Will you have to wait until your next cycle to try to get pregnant? These feelings can be especially strong when you’re used to ovulating fairly regularly each cycle.

Fortunately, a little variation in your cycles is usually nothing to worry about. Read on for a breakdown of why your ovulation may be different this month, as well as why it may only seem like you haven’t ovulated yet.

Ovulation can vary from cycle to cycle

Good news: it’s totally natural for menstrual cycles to vary a little bit each month. Yes, even if you’re used to seeing positive LH strips and a rise in your basal body temperature (BBT) by a certain day each cycle. It's still possible for ovulation to happen a little later from time to time, and just because you haven’t ovulated yet doesn’t mean you’re not going to (1). 

Your cycles are considered regular if they’re between 24 and 38 days, as long as they don’t vary by more than 7 to 9 days (2). However, regular periods don't always signal regular ovulation. You can menstruate on the same day every month like clockwork and still ovulate on different days each cycle (1). 

This is why you need more than a calendar to figure out when you’re fertile each month. (Brief refresher: Your fertile window is the 5 days before and the day of ovulation.) Your fertility signs, especially your basal body temperature (to confirm ovulation) or continuous core body temperature (to predict and confirm ovulation), are much better indicators of ovulation (1).

Watch how the Priya Fertility System detects impending ovulation, even when OPKs don’t. 

 

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Anovulatory cycles can happen, and that’s okay

Though it’s possible (and normal) for ovulation to happen later in some cycles than others, it’s also possible (and also normal) to have a cycle in which you don’t ovulate. These are called anovulatory cycles, and having one every now and then isn’t necessarily anything to be worried about. Even perfectly healthy women may experience anovulation once in every 10 to 20 cycles (3).

Anovulation may cause skipped or irregular periods, but it doesn’t always (4). Though you only technically get your period after cycles in which you ovulate, you may still experience bleeding that looks like a period during anovulatory cycles. You should note any anovulatory bleeding on your fertility chart.

If this is your first potentially anovulatory cycle, just keep charting your fertility signs like you would in a typical cycle. However, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you’re trying to get pregnant and you think you’ve gone 2 or more cycles without ovulating (5).

Your OPK results may be misleading

Many women who are trying to conceive use ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) to help identify when they’re fertile. These tests are made to detect the surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) that happens right before ovulation. However, it’s possible to ovulate without ever seeing a positive result on an LH strip. Likewise, it’s also possible to see a positive result and never ovulate (6). 

There are a few reasons why you may be missing your fertile window with OPKS:

  1. The LH surge typically happens around 24 hours before ovulation, at the very end of your fertile window. If you take the test at the wrong time, you could miss the most fertile part of your cycle (7, 8). 
  2. Sometimes an LH surge can last less than 24 hours. Even if you test daily, it’s possible to completely miss your LH surge and never know when you’re about to ovulate (7).
  3. It’s possible to see a surge in LH without ever releasing an egg (6). 
  4. Some women may experience small LH peaks before their fertile window begins. This could lead to confusion and timing sex too early in your cycle (6). 
You may miss ovulation with BBT charting

You can track your basal body temperature to help confirm whether you’ve ovulated in a given cycle. However, this method is notoriously tricky to do correctly. Even if you’ve noticed regular ovulation on your charts in the past, it’s still easy to miss the signs of ovulation in your BBT chart.

To take your BBT measurements, you need to follow strict guidelines. Deviating from these rules can cause your measurements to be off, making it difficult or impossible to spot the temperature change that happens after ovulation. To get the most accurate BBT measurements, you should take your temperature (9, 10):

  • At the same time every morning
  • After getting at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep
  • Using the same method and thermometer each time
  • Using a digital thermometer specifically designed to measure BBT
  • As soon as you wake up, before you get up, take a drink of water, talk to your partner, or do anything else

Other factors can cause your BBT measurements to be a little off, including (9):

  • Stress
  • Sickness or fever
  • Shift work
  • Oversleeping or irregular sleep cycles
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Traveling to different time zones
  • Gynecologic disorders
  • Certain medications

Fortunately, BBT isn’t the only way to measure your temperature to confirm ovulation. Continuous core body temperature (CCBT) is your body’s internal temperature taken continuously throughout the day. It’s measured using an intravaginal sensor, such as the one included in the Priya Fertility System.

CCBT measurements are taken automatically, so you don’t have to stress about waking up at the same time every morning to take your temperature. Plus, CCBT isn’t easily affected by the environmental factors listed above, so it’s easier to know if and when you ovulate each cycle (11). 

As an added bonus, combining CCBT with Priya’s dynamic algorithm allows you to use temperature data to figure out when you ovulate before it happens (unlike BBT, which can only confirm ovulation after the fact). 

When you’re trying to conceive, any change in your regular cycles can be nerve-wracking. However, little fluctuations are natural, and they don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. As long as your cycles remain regular, and you don’t go more than two or more months without ovulating, you should simply continue charting your fertility signs and keep trying to get pregnant.

 

About the author:

Catherine Poslusny is a writer and content marketing strategist based out of Norman, Oklahoma. She's written for healthcare companies since 2016, and she's most passionate about her work in women’s health, fertility, and reproductive rights. You can find her at catherinerosewrites.com.

References +
How Not to Waste Another Month When Trying to Conceive
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