Late Ovulation: Causes and Symptoms
Late Ovulation: What is it?
Delayed or late ovulation is ovulation that transpires after the 21st day of a woman’s menstruation cycle. When a woman is ovulating, it means that she is releasing an egg that is mature from the ovaries. It is initiated by the monthly changes in specific hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, progesterone, and estrogen. Ovulation will occur usually in the middle of the cycle for menstruation. The normal cycle will usually cove a 28 day period which means that ovulation will commonly transpire 14 days into the cycle of the individual. It must be noted, however, that there can be some critical variations per individual.
Possible Causes of Late Ovulation?
The cycle of menstruation can be divided into three (3) phases and these are:
- Follicular phase
- The ovulation phase
- The luteal phase
Among the three phases, the luteal phase usually remains constant and will run for around two (2) weeks after ovulation, the follicular phase can be quite varied in terms of duration lasting from ten days to more than 2 weeks (16 days to be exact). If the follicular phase lasts longer than it should, then ovulation can be absent or delayed.
Late or delayed ovulation is commonly the result of imbalances in the hormone which can long term or temporary depending on the causal factor. Some of the possible causes of late ovulation include the following:
- Stress- Stress that is extreme either emotional or physical, can negatively impact an individual in several different ways including the hormonal balance of individuals. One study observed that those with disorders related to their menstruation increased two-fold after the women experienced a rather powerful earthquake (intensity scale of 8.0).
- Thyroid Disease- The thyroid can affect the pituitary gland, a gland in the brain that is tasked with the management and control of certain hormones that are needed for ovulation to occur. Those individuals who may have an overactive thyroid or those with an underactive thyroid can encounter some problems when it comes to ovulation.
- PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome– This condition occurs when there is an overproduction of testosterone. Excessive levels of this hormone can lead to the prevention of the ovaries from ever having an egg released. Irregular menstruation is one of the primary symptoms of this health condition. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects around 10% of women across the globe.
- Breastfeeding- To produce breastmilk, the hormone prolactin is required. However, the said hormone can also lead to the suppression of menstruation and ovulation. If breastfeeding exclusively is your thing, then you may observe the stoppage of menstruation when while nursing. It must be noted though, that this should not be considered as a type of birth control as ovulation can still be initiated 14 days before menstruation.
- Medications- Certain drugs and medications can prevent ovulation. These medications include cocaine, marijuana, certain antipsychotic medications, and using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). There is evidence to suggest that the medication known as meloxicam, a drug used to address arthritis, can also affect ovulation. Test subjects had a five (5) day delay in terms of the rapture of the follicles which also affected their eggs’ release versus that just took a placebo.
Ovulation: What are the Possible Symptoms?
The ovulation process occurs in the middle of the individual’s cycle and as such, if the cycle comprises of the regular 28-day one, ovulation commonly happens on the 14th day, although ovulation may also occur before or after the said time frame. For those with irregular ovulation or those with ovulation that is delayed, using solely the calendar may not be the ideal way to find out if one is currently experiencing ovulation.
Some of the signs or symptoms that may identify that one is ovulating include:
- Cervical mucus is increased. If the secretion of the vagina is like egg whites, stretchy, and clear white, then the person might be about to ovulate or could already be ovulating. The said substance will show up around the time someone is about to ovulate to facilitate the meeting of the egg and the sperm.
- Basal Body Temperature is increased- This temperature refers to the body’s temperature when the individual is resting. A slight increase in this temperature can indicate that the person is ovulating. To monitor one’s basal temperature, monitor the temperature before getting out of bed in the morning, and check and monitor any changes within the day.
- Lower or side abdominal pain- This is also referred to as mittelschmerz and feels like pain that is one-sided and may also result in bleeding as the ovary releases the egg.
OPKs or Ovulation Predictor Kits
OPKs or Ovulation Predictor Kits (sometimes simply referred to as Ovulation Test Kits) can also help individuals monitor their ovulation. The kits can come with sticks or strip that can be dipped into urine to check for any levels of LH or Luteinizing hormones, hormones that are responsible for having eggs released.
One major disadvantage for the said tests is that it can be quite pricey especially if the individual’s ovulation and menstrual periods are irregular and unpredictable which can result in the usage of several sticks or strips to detect ovulation. There is also that 80 percent possibility that after using it for five days, the stick of the ovulation predictor will be able to have ovulation detected and if used within 10 days may have ovulation detected by about 95%.
It is recommended that individuals do the following steps to increase accuracy:
- Follow the instructions of the manufacturer precisely
- Use the test when the urine has elevated concentrations (e.g. after waking up)