To get pregnant you must have intercourse when you are fertile. One of the tools you can use to determine your most fertile days is an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). A positive test result indicates that your levels of leutenizing hormone have gone up (known as an LH surge), and that you are fertile and will ovulate soon.
Are you frustrated with your lack of success in getting pregnant even though you’ve been using an Ovulation Predictor Kit every month? You can get a positive test result and still not be ovulating.
This is called anovulation and it’s where the ovaries don’t release an egg that cycle.
Most women don’t realize that you can still have a period, but not be ovulating. This is called breakthrough bleeding.
What is Breakthrough Bleeding?
- May seem just like a regular period but it is actually not a real period
- It is abnormal bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods
- It is thought to be due to fluctuations in hormones
- It often resolves on its own in a couple of months
Who Can Have Anovulation?
- It is common among teenagers
- Women coming off Birth Control Pills
- Overweight or underweight women
- Women with elevated estrogen (estrogen dominance)
- Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Women with thyroid or adrenal gland problems
When is Anovulation Common and Normal?
- Breastfeeding women
- Women who recently stopped breastfeeding
- Women approaching menopause
Anovulation is believed to be due to hormone imbalance. There has been enough estrogen to build the uterine lining, but ovulation does not occur. This can be because FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (leutenizing hormone) are not present in the correct amounts for ovulation. However, the Ovulation Predictor Kit that detects your LH surge is not designed to recognize this imbalance with the other hormones, and it still reads as positive.
How Can You Tell if You are Ovulating?
The easiest way to confirm ovulation is to monitor your basal body temperature. This is another type of ovulation predictor. When you’re monitoring your basal body temperature, you’ll know if you’re ovulating because your temperature will rise at least two tenths of a degree (ex. 98.0 to 98.2) and your temperature will stay higher for at least three days.
If you do not see these temperature changes, then you are probably not ovulating. However, if you have a clear build-up of fertile cervical mucus that peaks 14 days before your next menstrual cycle, it is not so clear. This fertile mucus is another indicator of your fertility. A very small group of women appear to ovulate without a temperature shift. In this situation you may need to have an ultrasound to look at your ovaries and see if you are actually ovulating.
If you are not ovulating, it’s important that you do two things. First, start with good nutrition and second manage your stress levels. The consequences of a poor diet and stress very much affect your health and your fertility. If these do not help, then you will have to look further to understand why you are not getting pregnant.