Are you experiencing early ovulation? Do you tend to ovulate early? Have your periods become shorter? The fastest way to answer these questions is to keep tabs on your fertile window.
While the popular belief has been to consider the 14th day of your cycle, this is not always true.
You typically ovulate 12-14 days before your next period. Hence your ovulation date depends on your menstrual cycle.
Only a few women ovulate on the 14th day. Some reach their fertility window earlier, like you may have experienced, or later.
There are multiple reasons you could be ovulating so early in your cycle. Maybe as early as the 7th day or 10th day!
Read on to know more about early ovulation and how to tackle it.
What is early ovulation?
Early ovulation is when your ovary releases an egg earlier than the due date in your menstrual cycle.
Many factors can be responsible, starting with a short follicular cycle or even stress!
The follicular phase begins on the first day of your period and ends when you ovulate.
Now what makes this short is if the phase is below 12 days.
The length of the menstrual cycle differs between people, which makes us unique. What’s not special is if your menstrual cycle is 21 days or, even worse—shorter.
If you have a short cycle, your ovulation may appear earlier than others.
For example, ovulation may occurs about 14 days before the next period on a good day. This 2nd phase of your menstrual cycle is called the luteal phase. But don’t forget that the figure is just an estimate! It varies for everyone.
Learn More: Ovulation Symptoms: How Do You Really Know
Causes of early ovulation
Now, have you figured out why your follicular phase may last less than 12 days?
Scientists have joined heads together to pinpoint the significant culprits, but it seems to happen randomly.
Although, they managed to give us an idea of some causes. They include:
As you age, your egg supply is naturally reduced. This increases the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and forces your body to ovulate earlier. But don’t panic. As long as your follicular phase lasts for a minimum of 12 days, you’re safe. You may experience this from your late 30s to your early 40s.
- Body Mass Index (BMI):
Your BMI is an estimate of your weight, considering your height. A low or high body mass index can alter the time you ovulate.
Some women just ovulate earlier than others. It doesn’t always mean there’s anything wrong with them.
- Record of miscarriages:
A study conducted by a few experts showed that women who had lost their pregnancy had roughly a 2.2 days-shorter follicular phase than those who hadn’t.
- Birth Control:
People who take birth-control pills or stop abruptly within 90 days could suffer a phase of early ovulation.
- Drinking and Smoking:
Smoking, drinking alcohol, or even taking excess coffee can reduce your follicular phase and cycle.
Is it wrong to ovulate early?
Certainly not. Even if you have regular cycles and see “lady red” every 28th day of the month, you could still ovulate early.
This is why ovulation tests are your first port-of-call if you want to know the right time to have sex and hit the jackpot!
But, unfortunately, the timing is not predictable or easy for women who have irregular cycles.
Can early ovulation cause infertility?
Just because your ovulation day came early doesn’t automatically mean you will become infertile, although it shouldn’t be overlooked.
It can pose a threat to you to successfully get pregnant if your ovulation recurrently arrives before the 11th day of your cycle. Why? Because, like every living thing, your egg needs to grow to maturity!
When it becomes mature, the follicle develops and ruptures open to release the mature egg. Then, the egg prepares for fertilization and implantation.
If you zoom into this case of infertility, you’ll see that there may be a relationship between women with short follicular phases and pregnancy loss.
Learn More: Implantation: Everything You Need to Know
A study discovered that women with a record of miscarriages had a follicular phase of 14 days compared to 16.2 days for women without any miscarriage.
While a short follicular phase does not always mean that you are infertile, recurrent earlier ovulation may be indicative of an underlying infertility problem. Consult your doctor to understand your chances of pregnancy.
Does early ovulation affect pregnancy?
Not exactly. A single study showed that when a woman ovulates before the 11th day of her cycle, she has less chance of successfully getting pregnant than a woman who ovulated later in their cycle. However, that study contained a few women—about 21 women.
Now there was another study that contained hundreds of cycles amongst 221 women. This is where it gets interesting.
The pregnancy rate per cycle for women who ovulated before day 13 was 20% compared to 21% of those who weren’t as early.
So even though early ovulation doesn’t ultimately affect pregnancy, there are minor differences that could count.
Overall, your chance to get pregnant depends solely on the reason you ovulated early in the first place.
So keeping track of your cycle for a while is essential because you can help your doctor identify what is happening and how to help you.
How to track an early ovulation
Tracking your ovulation helps you know if you ovulated earlier than the expected timeframe.
One of the ways to do this is by keeping a record of your basal body temperature (BBT). It rises after you have ovulated.
Also, using a fertility monitor like Inito works just as fine. Use Inito to check your urine for the ovulation hormone (luteinizing hormone – LH).
A peak in LH shows that you will ovulate, so if you notice sudden spikes, it may just signal early ovulation. And here is the best part yet. The Inito fertility monitor helps to track your ovulation at your convenience so that you can figure out when things look fishy!
Ways to fix a short follicular phase
Millions of popular opinions online claim you can increase your follicular cycle. However, you should know that no data says they work. You don’t want to be using your body as a testing ground as that also has its consequences.
If you suddenly notice early ovulation despite having a regular cycle, then you may want to contact your doctor to know why. On the other hand, if you have an irregular cycle and early ovulation joins the queue of irregularity, your gynecologist may help by prescribing a drug to boost your ovulation timing.
- Early ovulation is when your ovary releases an egg earlier than expected in your menstrual cycle.
- Many factors like a short follicular cycle, age, lifestyle, BMI, a record of miscarriages, and even stress can cause it.
- The follicular phase of your monthly cycle starts from the first day of your menstruation and ends on the day of ovulation.
- Having a regular cycle can still make you ovulate early.
- Nevertheless, just because your ovulation came early doesn’t automatically mean you will become infertile.
- Your chance to get pregnant depends solely on the reason you ovulated early in the first place.
- Keeping track of your cycle is important because you can help your doctor identify what is happening and help you.