What if everything you ever knew about ovulation was wrong?
It would solve many mysteries for many couples trying to conceive without success or equally answer some questions around how women have fallen pregnant outside what they believed to be their fertile time. You don’t need to be a gynecologist to understand this, nor graduated from the school of ovaries – the only prerequisite is the need to know more about yourself as a woman.
So today, I want to share with you the top 5 myths of ovulation – because when it comes to this stuff, sex ed. just didn’t cut the mustard!
You ovulate on cycle day 14
Maybe you do, but maybe you don’t.
It’s ridiculous to think that we all do exactly the same body function on exactly the same day every month. Many things will affect how your bodies menstrual cycle plays out. Weight loss, weight gain, poor diet, medication, hormone imbalance and most of all stress will affect your cycle. These things may push ovulation out, meaning you will ovulate later in your cycle. And for those with hormone imbalances, you might find yourself ovulating far earlier in your cycle than you thought possible.
What’s key is to use your own body’s signs and symptoms as a guide to what is actually going on inside – a short follicular phase (from cycle day one until ovulation) usually indicates low levels of oestrogen making it virtually impossible to fall pregnant. Good news is, there are many very effective ways to treat it.
I get my period but I’m not ovulating
This is actually impossible. If you are truly ovulating, you will absolutely get a period. The confusion here lies around when you ovulate. Your GP may perform an ovulation test on cycle day 21 to see if you are ovulating. Biggest problem is, if you have 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 GP is going to tell you your only hope is clomid (there are many natural options) you’re going to be asking for a tissue because this news can be seemingly devastating.
We need to remember we don’t all ovulate on the same day and equally that if you are ovulating later in the cycle, you may also be suffering either excess oestrogen or low hormones in general. In any case, this is your cue to dig deeper and find out what’s really going on. It’s very treatable.
Some women can experience a hormonal bleed or spotting where the shift between oestrogen and progesterone causes bleeding. It may be around the time the period is due and confused with a period – but the key here is that it is generally very light; almost like spotting and certainly not a ‘flow’. You’d be forgiven for getting confused between this and your regular period.
If I have PCOS, I can’t fall pregnant
Biggest myth of all time. PCOS doesn’t mean you can’t fall pregnant – it means you need to better understand how to detect ovulation. Women with PCOS may attempt multiple times to ovulate in a cycle. The key point to know is that the last ‘try’ will always be ovulation. This is key for these women especially when trying to conceive. So long as hormonally their body is ticking all the boxes, there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t fall pregnant – just as Victoria Beckham!
When I see a lot of fertile mucus, I’m ovulating.
This is a big trap people make – they see fertile mucus and go for gold – confining timing to that one day for conception. You see, it’s not the day we see the most amount of fertile mucus (characteristically clear/egg white consistency), it’s the last day we recogonise this mucus. If the mucus lasts for 4-5 days this can be key for timing. Equally if you are using natural fertility awareness methods, this can be key to NOT falling pregnant.
Ovulation should be marked by pain
Hells no! Pain at ovulation may be a sign that you are hormonally imbalanced. Just like the period, ovulation should be symptom free. Pain, heaviness, irritability, anxiety, emotional upset, headaches are all key indicators of excess oestrogen. Of course your fertile symptoms of mucus should be present as your leading signs.
Over time (and due to the pill) we’ve become somewhat disconnected from the signs and symptoms our bodies show us each month as clues to the bigger picture. It is about 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, they don’t understand these key symptoms or that sometimes there is a problem as the pill masks the symptoms. 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 is a disaster. When all is said and done, the more we know about our own bodies, the more we can live happier, healthier and informed lives.
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