Why You Ovulate Early and Can Still Have a Successful Pregnancy
A lot of women struggle with ovulating early every month and worry whether it lowers their chances of conceiving naturally. In this article we cover how FSH, estrogen & LH work together in the first half of our cycles to mature an egg, and how an imbalance in each can cause you to ovulate early.
I know a lot of you ovulate early and you worry about what the effects are on your fertility and your chances of conceiving naturally. Let's recap the beginning of the cycle:
Beginning of your cycle
The beginning of your cycle, estrogen is low. The low estrogen is what brings up FSH. FSH is follicle stimulating hormone, and that hormone stimulates a bunch of follicles in both of your ovaries to mature and develop.
On day seven roughly, FSH will peak, and a couple of eggs are selected to be matured further. This is what signals to the body to continue to rise estrogen, and estrogen further matures those eggs that have been chosen, and it also thickens the lining of your uterus so that it becomes nice and lush for a fertilized egg to be implanted in later.
As estrogen rises, LH, luteinizing hormone, also starts to rise, and as estrogen peaks, that signals to the body that the eggs are ready and that the endometrial lining is ready enough and that ovulation may happen. So as LH peaks, that is what triggers ovulation.
Early ovulation caused by FSH
Here is where in that process early ovulation can be caused, first of all with FSH. If FSH is too high too quickly, that signals to the body too early and too quickly for estrogen to go up and LH to then go up.
FSH is the follicle stimulating hormone, and often, FSH is very high premenopausal because estrogen is constantly low when you aren't premenopausal.
You see, I explained beginning of the cycle estrogen is low, and that's what brings up FSH. Now, if it's not because it's just the beginning of your cycle but estrogen generally is low, FSH will continually be high. But in that case, you won't necessarily see early ovulation because FSH doesn't actually quite peak. It's just continually high, and then estrogen cannot really take over anyway, because there isn't enough of it.
So it's not very likely for you to see early ovulation in premenopausal years. Except for when it has to do with high estrogen, which happens before that, which I'll mention later on.
Why do we see high FSH
The main reason that we see high FSH is because of fertility drugs. Because fertility drugs are given to stimulate your ovaries to produce plenty of eggs because they wanna retrieve as many as possible, right?
Now, that's when you end up in a situation of hyperstimulation, and the hyperstimulation effect does not often just stay in the cycle that you're taking the drugs. It can last beyond that.
So if you're currently taking fertility drugs or you have taken fertility drugs in the past, and you are now struggling with early ovulation ever since that happened, it's possible that you're in a situation of hyperstimulation, and that's what has brought your FSH up.
Early ovulation caused by high estrogen
Now, the next step in the cycle, the estrogen that needs to peak, that can also cause early ovulation. Because if estrogen is too high to early, then that signals to the body to bring up LH to release the eggs.
Well, perhaps the eggs are not actually mature yet. Too high estrogen is also called estrogen dominance. It is very common, and it has to do with the fact that estrogen dominance can happen after long-term use of the pill. There is a lot of hormones in our water these days.
You will see that there is a lot of hormones in the water because we are using the contraceptive pill for a while now, and they can't actually filter that out of the water.
Another thing is plastics. We eat and drink so many things out of plastic containers and buy foods and plastics, and that leaks into our foods, and plastics are interpreted by our bodies as estrogen. So that can cause estrogen dominance.
Estrogen goes up as we age
Estrogen dominance can happen with age because, before we run out of estrogen reserves around menopause, we actually start to increase more and more and more of it as we age. This is also why a lot of estrogen dominance symptoms start to show up when women are in their 30s. I'm talking about fibroids, endometriosis, and shorter cycles and early ovulation.
Thirdly, what can be the cause of too early ovulation, that is LH peaks too early, and this is something that will not generally happen in a chronic situation. Because when you struggle with PCOS, you can have continually high LH. But remember, to start ovulation, you need to have a peak of LH.
So if your body is continually producing high levels of LH, that doesn't signal to the body we've got a peek. Now ovulate. So that's what happens in PCOS is just continually high, and that's what can cause you to not ovulate at all or to ovulate late.
However, a sudden peak of LH is definitely possible, and research has shown when this happens, and that can be an acute stress. That is a serious type of situation, like a huge shock, a huge trauma, with all the stress hormones that are being released, LH goes up suddenly, as well, and a woman can suddenly ovulate early.
However, you see how this is not actually something you're going to see every cycle. This is a one-time thing, and you'll be able to pinpoint it for sure.
So I would say that the most common reasons that I see with women that are ovulating early is pretty much the estrogen dominance. Because that is the most common thing. There are so many reasons for having estrogen dominance these days, and then in some cases also the high FSH because some women that come to me already have gone through IVF cycles or have just received injections to stimulate their ovaries to produce more eggs.
Ovulation before CD11has a huge effect on your chance of conceiving
So when does early ovulation become a problem? Well, that is if you ovulate before day 11. So if you ovulate day 11, 12, don't freak out yet. It's not ideal, but it's really before day 11 that it becomes a problem because the eggs have difficulty maturing properly then. They just didn't have enough time, and an immature egg will have problems being fertilized, implanting properly, and then developing.
That is not to say that nobody in the world ever fell pregnant ovulating before day 11, so don't lose hope, but definitely take it seriously. Even when I have patients that ovulate day 11 or 12, we will take that seriously and try to get that some more day 13 or 14.
It is, of course, very important for you to know if you actually do ovulate early. Don't just go by the ovulation test strips because that doesn't tell you that you've ovulated. That only tells you if you're about to ovulate. The only way for you to know if you have ovulated is if you take your temperature.
So now you know what causes early ovulation and when it becomes a concern for your chances of conceiving naturally. Be encouraged that this can absolutely be changed with lifestyle changes, with your type of food, quitting anything with plastics in your environment, and also homeopathic treatments, such as homeopathic detoxes of the contraceptive pill and fertility drugs.
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