3 PCOS Cycle Patterns and What They Mean
Guest post by Kate Davies
Women who are using the OvuSense Fertility Monitor, not only find out when they are ovulating, giving them the ability to optimize conception, but can also learn a great deal about their body and what they cycle is telling them.
To help you understand a little more about OvuSense and what information you can learn about your cycles, I’ve put together some information on typical cycle patterns and what this means. Remember though, every woman is different and your cycles may not look exactly like the images below, but this will certainly give you an idea of the different cycle characteristics you can see and what this means about your body and for your fertility.
3 Cycle Patterns and What They Mean
Late Ovulation and Short Luteal Phase
Determining when you ovulate in a cycle is fundamental when trying to conceive. Many women assume that they ovulate right in the middle of their cycle, but for a huge percentage of women, this is just not the case. Luckily, OvuSense is able to tell you when you ovulate so you can make the most of this time.
We have found that a late ovulation (ovulation that occurs more than 2/3rds of the way through a cycle) is common in around 25% of OvuSense users. In some women, a late ovulation is accompanied by a short luteal phase. The luteal phase is the time from ovulation to your next menstrual period. Ideally, this should be longer than 9 days in length.
With the knowledge that you ovulate later in a cycle, you can adjust the time you have sex to improve your chances of conceiving. Remember though, it is important for good quality sperm that you are also having regular sex (every 2-3 days) throughout the cycle.
If you are finding that you regularly have a luteal phase which is 9 days or shorter, take the time to discuss this with your doctor and ask about possible treatment options. You may also like to investigate natural treatments for a short luteal phase such as acupuncture.
Early Ovulation and Slow Rise
Some OvuSense users notice that they have an early ovulation. This is when ovulation occurs around a 1/3rd of the way through your cycle. All though less common, ovulation can occur during a menstrual period.
Around 5% of OvuSense users have found that they have a ‘slow rise’ in some or all of their cycles. This is where your temperature graph will show a slow and steady increase over a number of days, rather than a steep rise over one or two days. If you have this cycle pattern, you may not receive a prediction from OvuSense that you are about to ovulate. This is because the progesterone in your body is not being released sufficiently enough to cause a core body temperature rise that can be identified by the prediction algorithm.
However, you may still get a detection of ovulation after it occurs.
What this means for you
If you tend to ovulate earlier in the cycle, you may choose to ensure you are having regular sex early on. Sperm can live in the vagina for around 5 days, if you happen to ovulate later than usual you are more likely to get the timings right.
Knowing that you have a slow rise, it is advantageous to have sex regularly throughout the duration of the rise. You may wish to discuss your cycle pattern with your doctor as in some circumstances a slow rise can indicate PCOS or diminished ovarian reserve.
Occasionally, you may notice what appears to be the start of an ovulatory temperature rise, however the temperature drops back to the lower level after 1 or 2 days. A ‘false start’ is generally followed a few days later by a true ovulation.
What this means for you
This pattern is very common in women with PCO or PCOS. If you regularly notice this pattern and don’t currently have a diagnosis of PCO or PCOS, you may wish to speak with your doctor about having further investigations. You can also use OvuSense to track your cycles carefully and identify the true ovulation later in your cycle.
Kate Davies is a fertility practitioner, fertility coach and columnist. Kate works with women wishing to optimize their ability to conceive naturally and coaches women going through a difficult fertility journey.
Kate is a registered nurse specialist and worked for over 20 years in the UK’s National Health Service as a specialist nurse in Gynaecology, Sexual and contraceptive health and fertility. Four years ago Kate, frustrated with the lack of support and high quality advice for women who were struggling to conceive, founded her private practice ‘Your Fertility Journey’. Shortly after this, she trained as a fertility coach to offer her patients much needed emotional support as well as medical advice. Kate now has a thriving practice and consults women nationally and internationally via the wonders of Skype.
Kate has a special interest in PCOS and over the years has worked with 100’s of women who suffer with this debilitating condition. To enhance her practice, Kate has recently undertaken specialist training to enable her to offer women both the specialist advice and emotional support they desperately need.
Kate loves her job and her best days are when one of her lovely ladies calls her to say she is pregnant. Often she is the second person to know – what a privilege! Kate is very proud of the Facebook Support Group she founded over two years ago. This group, full of inspirational ladies going through all sorts of fertility journeys, gives ladies a safe place in which to ask advice, find support and get virtual hugs.
As well as her natural fertility and coaching services, Kate is also passionate about Natural Contraception and teaches women internationally on how to use this effective, safe and natural method of contraception.
Facebook Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Yourfertilitysupportgroup/