What if everything you ever knew about ovulation was wrong? GASP! It would solve many mysteries for couples trying to conceive without success, or it could help explain how some women have gotten pregnant outside what they believed to be their fertile time.
You see, what we learned in Sex Ed wasn’t necessarily true. I’ve discovered many women do not really understand their fertile times (in some instances, four days at the most).
Recently, I released my debunking ovulation event to help women get to the bottom of these questions. You don’t need to be a gynecologist to understand what I share, the only prerequisite is that you're inquisitive about yourself as a woman and that you’re looking for deeper answers.
So here goes!
1. You ovulate on Day 14, every time.
It’s ridiculous to think that all the woman on this beautiful planet have exactly the same body function on exactly the same day each and every month. Many things will influence your body's natural rhythm and cycle. Weight loss, weight gain, poor diet, travel, medication, hormone imbalance and (most of all) stress will affect your menstrual cycle.
Ovulation may be delayed by any one of these factors. And for those with hormone imbalances, you might find yourself ovulating earlier in your cycle than you thought possible. The secret is to use your body's unique signs and symptoms as your personal, foolproof guide – i.e. a short follicular phase (from cycle day one until ovulation) usually indicates low levels of estrogen, making it virtually impossible to get pregnant. Good news is, there are very effective ways to treat it.
2. Having PCOS means I can’t get pregnant
False! Just ask Victoria Beckham. PCOS doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant – it means you need to better understand how to detect ovulation, and it's a call to treat the root cause of why PCOS is there in the first place. Women with PCOS may attempt multiple times to ovulate in one menstrual cycle. For women trying to conceive, it’s refreshing to understand potentially fertile times during the cycle to ensure she’s giving it her best shot! For these women, so long as hormonally their bodies are ticking all the boxes, there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t get pregnant.
3. I'm on the pill, but I'm still ovulating.
While you're on the pill, nothing is natural about your cycle, and there is no ovulation. Although you may think you get a period when you're on birth control, the truth is that this is a withdrawal of the synthetic hormones. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to change this as long as you're on the pill.
4. I get my period, but I’m not ovulating.
If you're ovulating, you'll get a period. The confusion here is around exactly when you ovulate. Your doctor may perform an ovulation test on Day 21 of your cycle to see if you're ovulating. Unfortunately, if you have a hormone imbalance, it’s safe to suggest you may be ovulating after cycle day 21, meaning your test is going to come back negative. Your doctor is likely going to get you on clomid faster than you can say fallopian tubes and you're left without answers as to what's really going on. Reality is, if the nuts and bolts of the body aren’t working well, clomid will have a very hard time of working, too. Getting to the bottom of hormone imbalance is always key, especially in cases of assisted conception. Remember: we don’t all ovulate on the same day.
5. There should be pain with ovulation.
Hells no! Pain at ovulation often indicates too much estrogen in the body. Just like the period, ovulation should be symptom-free. Pain, heaviness, irritability, anxiety, emotional upset, headaches are all key indicators of excess oestrogen. Your fertile symptoms of mucus should be your guide.
6. I know I’m ovulating because of visual clues.
Many women assume that the day they ovulate is the day when they see the most cervical mucus. Confining timing to that one day for conception can be a big reason why some women aren’t getting pregnant month after month after month. You see, ovulation may not be the day we see the most amount of fertile mucus (characteristically clear/egg white consistency), it’s the last day of the cycle we recgonise this mucus. If the mucus lasts for 4 to 5 days this can be key for timing. Also, if you're using natural fertility awareness methods, this can be key to NOT getting pregnant, too.
As women (and due to the pill) we’ve somewhat disconnected from the signs and symptoms our bodies show us each month. It’s time we got back to basics, understood what’s being communicated to better educate ourselves about… ourselves! Unfortunately being on the pill long term means, for many women, this can be difficult because we’ve never had to focus or know what’s going on – nor could we as the pill masks many of these signs.
Coming off the pill we can see terrible hormone imbalance as the body tries to find its hormonal groove again. Sometimes its OK, and other times it's a disaster. When all is said and done, the more we know about our own bodies, the more we can live happier, healthier ore informed lives.