Late ovulation: what you need to know

can you ovulate late

It can be concerning if you don’t get your period on time every month. You may start to worry that something is wrong with you. But did you know that you can still ovulate late? In this blog post, we will discuss what can cause late ovulation and what you need to do if it happens to you. We will also provide some tips for increasing your chances of getting pregnant if you’re struggling to conceive.

What is late ovulation?

Ovulation that occurs after day 21 of your menstrual cycle is known as late or delayed ovulation. Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from an ovary. It’s triggered by the monthly rise and fall in chemicals such as progesterone and estrogen.

  • estrogen
  • progesterone
  • luteinizing hormone
  • follicle-stimulating hormone

Ovulation generally occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle. The typical cycle is 28 days long, so ovulation usually happens on day 14 of the cycle. However, there can be a lot of variation.

What causes late ovulation?

irregular ovulation

The menstrual cycle is divided into three phases:

  • the follicular phase, in which the ovarian follicles develop and an egg matures in anticipation of its release
  • ovulation
  • the luteal phase, in which the follicle closes and hormones are released to trigger the shedding of the uterine lining unless pregnancy has occurred

The luteal phase, which lasts around 14 days after ovulation (the discharge of an egg is only a few hours long), may vary in length from 10 to 16 days. Ovulation will be late or even absent if the follicular phase is prolonged.

Ovulation occurs toward the end of a woman’s cycle. Ovulation is generally induced by hormonal abnormalities that can be temporary or long-term, depending on the reason. The following are some factors that might induce a hormone imbalance:

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Extreme stress, whether physical or emotional, has the ability to have a harmful influence in a variety of ways. Following an 8.0 earthquake, researchers discovered that the incidence of menstrual problems among Chinese women rose by more than 200 percent.

Thyroid disease

The thyroid gland has a significant impact on the pituitary gland. The pituitary is a part of the brain that produces some of the hormones needed for ovulation. Ovulation may be hindered or delayed by an underactive or overactive thyroid, respectively.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a condition in which testosterone is produced excessively. The ovaries are unable to release an egg owing to excessive testosterone. Menstrual irregularity is one of the most typical PCOS symptoms.

Although polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively rare condition, affecting 1 out of every 10 women, it’s extremely prevalent among some racial and ethnic groups.


Prolactin, a hormone that is produced during nursing and contributes to the production of breast milk, inhibits ovulation and menstruation. If you exclusively breastfeed, your menstrual cycle may be disrupted.

However, breastfeeding should not be used as a contraceptive. Ovulation can occur up to two weeks before the start of menses.


Certain medications and drugs can inhibit ovulation, including:

  • long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (such as Advil or Motrin)
  • some antipsychotic medications
  • marijuana
  • cocaine

In a research, scientists studied the impact of meloxicam, which is used to treat arthritis and causes delays in ovulation. Participants who took meloxicam had a five-day delay in follicular rupture and egg release compared with those who received a placebo.

Fertility and chances of conceiving

irregular cycles

Pregnancy cannot occur if ovulation has not occurred. A woman’s fertility and capacity to conceive may be affected by late ovulation.

Ovulation problems, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), such as late or missing ovulation, are the most common causes of female infertility.

Ovulation is difficult to predict for women with long or irregular cycles. This makes conceiving difficult since they have no way of knowing when it’s time to have sex.

Ovulation does not, however, rule out the possibility of pregnancy. Many women who have irregular ovulation conceive successfully.

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Treatment for a medical condition that impairs ovulation, such as PCOS, hyperprolactinemia, or hypothyroidism, may help some women conceive.

How does it affect menstruation?

stimulate ovulation

Menstrual irregularity may be caused by delayed ovulation.

Some women with late ovulation may have a lot of bleeding during their period. The hormone estrogen levels rise during the first part of the menstrual cycle, causing the uterine lining to thicken, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.

Ovulation then activates the body’s production of another hormone, progesterone. This hormone helps the uterus to maintain a pregnancy if one is established. However, if ovulation happens late or is missed, the body does not release progesterone. Instead, it continues to produce estrogen and causes more blood to accumulate in the uterine lining.

The lining becomes unstable and exits the body as a heavier-than-normal menstrual flow at some point.

When to see a doctor

stimulate ovulation

If you have any questions regarding your menstrual cycle, ovulation, or fertility, see your doctor.

In general, the sooner a person receives treatment, the better the outcome. This is especially true of fertility, which, according to ACOG, deteriorates with age.

It is also important to see a doctor if any of the following apply:

  • menstrual cycles are less than 21 days or longer than 40 days
  • sudden changes occur to the menstrual cycle
  • periods suddenly stop without any apparent reason
  • heavy menstrual bleeding occurs
  • severe period pains occur
  • symptoms of PCOS, hypothyroidism, or hyperprolactinemia develop
  • Attempting to conceive without using Clomid or other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is possible only among people under the age of 35 who haven’t conceived after 12 months of attempting, or those over the age of 35 who haven’t conceived after 6 months.

What can you do if you ovulate late in your cycle?

affect ovulation

Metformin may be given to help you get pregnant if you have PCOS. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, and metformin helps to improve the cells’ response to insulin. It also restores hormonal equilibrium. Clomiphene citrate or letrozole, both of which can assist in the ovulation process, might be prescribed by your doctor.

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Many women with PCOS are overweight. If you’re overweight, your doctor will most likely work with you on a weight-loss plan. Losing as little as five pounds might significantly boost your chances of ovulating and having a successful pregnancy by balancing out your hormone levels and increasing your chances of conception.

If you have hyperprolactinemia, your doctor will prescribe medications to reduce prolactin production and shrink the tumor in your brain. A pill can regulate thyroid hormone levels if you have hypothyroidism. Medication controls your cycles in both situations, allowing you to ovulate on a regular basis — which makes timing sex and getting pregnant much easier.

If your doctor suspects that you have regular menstrual cycles with a short luteal phase, she may prescribe progesterone to extend the length of time your uterine lining is present each cycle, increasing the chances of your eggs attaching to the uterine wall. Your doctor may also recommend clomiphene citrate to trigger ovulation.


It is possible to conceive without using Clomid or other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) if you are under the age of 35 and have been attempting to conceive for 12 months, or over the age of 35 and have been attempting to conceive for 6 months. If you ovulate late in your cycle, your doctor may prescribe medications such as Metformin, Clomiphene citrate, or letrozole to help you get pregnant. Many women with PCOS are overweight, so if this applies to you, your doctor will likely work with you on a weight-loss plan. Losing as little as five pounds might significantly boost your chances of ovulating and having a successful pregnancy.


How long can ovulation be delayed?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Ovulation can be delayed for a number of reasons, including stress, illness, and hormonal imbalance.

Does late ovulation affect the egg?

No, the egg is unaffected by ovulation delay.

Can ovulation happen after 45 days?

Yes, ovulation can happen after 45 days. However, the likelihood of getting pregnant drops significantly after this time.

How can I skip ovulation?

There is no way to “skip ovulation.” Ovulation can only be delayed or missed.

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