A Closer Look at Early Ovulation
Early ovulation may not sound like a terrible problem, but to a woman trying to conceive it can be a distressing situation. Ovulation is the time in which the egg is released from the ovary and is a woman’s most likely time to become pregnant. Normally this process would occur about halfway through the menstrual cycle, but sometimes ovulation can occur earlier within the cycle. If a woman is unaware that she will ovulate early and is trying to conceive based on the typical ovulation schedule, she may find it more difficult to become pregnant.
Causes of Early Ovulation
The causes of early ovulation are not well known and seem to be quite random. The most common cause behind early ovulation is a fluctuation in hormones. As hormones are responsible for triggering the release of the egg, a sudden surge in LH (luteinizing hormone) and estrogen can jump-start the ovary to release an egg. The most common culprit behind hormonal fluctuations is actually stress. Stress can not only cause ovulation to occur early, but it can also result in a missed period altogether. Brain function also has a lot to do with when ovulation occurs. If the hypothalamus secretes too much gonadotropin, the pituitary gland may then go on to produce the hormones which cause ovulation—resulting in early ovulation. It is not uncommon for drugs to be the cause behind early, late, or failure to ovulate altogether. One’s ovulation may seem to occur earlier after the use of a new prescription medication. This typically wouldn’t be an issue, however if one is trying to conceive then it may be necessary to ask their doctor whether a different medication will suffice or to discontinue the medication until after conception.
Symptoms of Early Ovulation
Typically, the most reliable method of determining when ovulation is near is to “count the days”. This is done by subtracting 14 from the total number of days in a woman’s cycle. For instance, a woman whose cycle typically goes 30 days, then she would most likely ovulate on day 16, day one being the first day of her last period. The problem with early ovulation is that a woman can’t really predict if or how early she will be. That means that she will have to pay a little more attention to the subtle hints that her body may be giving. The first symptom of ovulation is an elevated basal body temperature. Unfortunately, this will not help with predicting ovulation, but it can indicate that ovulation is near. To track the basal temperature, a chart should be created on which the basal temperature can be recorded on everyday of a woman’s cycle. The temperature should be taken in the morning just after waking up, using a thermometer designed for this purpose. The temperature should be about the same everyday unless one is ill or has recently drunk alcohol. The temperature will usually rise by .4 to .6 degrees Fahrenheit just before ovulation occurs. It may take a few months of temperature tracking in order to successfully determine the time of ovulation.
One may also notice a change in mucous discharge when ovulation time nears. As ovulation nears, the discharge increases and typically becomes a bit more sticky and either white or yellow in color. It may also appear a bit cloudy. Just before ovulation occurs, the discharge will increase even more and takes on a transparent hue. One might also notice that the consistency of the discharge becomes more slippery than sticky. This is to allow the sperm an easier trek to fertilize the egg. When discharge takes on this consistency and appearance, it is the ideal time to conceive.