Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Do all women ovulate?
avatar
amymo posted:
OK this is a weird question but here it goes. Do all women who have normal periods every month always ovulate? Is it possible to have a period but not ovulate?
Reply
 
avatar
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Deare amymo: Excellent question! A woman can have apparently regular flows and yet still not be having regular ovulations. How can this happen? In a cycle without an ovulation, estrogen stimulation (assisted by the hormone FSH ) will continue to make the lining of the uterus grow thicker and thicker. In the absence of a LH surge, no ovulation will occur. The progesterone level will not rise. When the follicle that contains the un-ovulated egg involutes the woman's blood estrogen level will drop. This triggers much of the lining to be shed. Thus if it takes two to three weeks for the follicle and un-ovulated egg to regress, the woman may have somewhat regular bleeds.

How often does this happen? In the first year after menstrual periods begin up to 55% of the cycles may occur without ovulations (Mansfield & Emans, 1984). In a study of 20-35 year old women who were had regular cycles but were infertile, an average of 30% of women were not ovulating. Among these 123 women with regular cycles the highest incidence of not ovulating was 41%. This highest incidence occurred among women who had never had a conception. Women who had at least one documented pregnancy had a lower incidence of non-ovulation despite regular periods (Hegab, 1987).

Lastly, the presence of very regular periods, accompanied by common premenstrual symptoms ("molimena") suggests an ovulatory cycle—especially when there are menstrual cramps. Yet this may not always be the case. In as many as 5% of these "classic for ovulation" cycles, ovulation may not have occurred (Speroff, 1999).

Bottom line amymo, other than a confirmed pregnancy the only other ways to document an ovulation are to do blood progesterone levels on cycle day 21, or to use ovulation predictor kits which measures for the LH surge. Even basal body temperature charting or watching for cervical mucus changes can have results thrown off by other physical issues (eg viral infection or elevated estrogen levels from PCOS).

Yours,
Jane
 
avatar
amymo replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
Thank you jane
 
avatar
riggs34 responded:
yes!, if you have a normal period.


Helpful Tips

Thickened endometrial lining
Hi I am 52, stopped my periods 5 months ago - assumed menopause, feeling very bloated for the past 3 months - doc ordered hormone test - ... More
Was this Helpful?
0 of 0 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

From HPV to irregular periods to PMS to fibroids, Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, is here to share her knowledge and insight...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.