Anovulatory blues

For women trying to get pregnant, having an anovulatory cycle can be incredibly stressful.  It means more waiting than the dreaded two week wait.  It means more concerns piling up on an already worrisome mind.  It means, in short, an unknown length of time in which that woman must simply wait.  And wait.  And wait.

What is an anovulatory cycle?

Ovulation does not always happen every single cycle.  A cycle in which a woman does not achieve ovulation is called an anovulatory cycle.  Having an anovulatory cycle once in a while is not uncommon, and should not give pause for concerns.  However, if you find that you’re having several anovulatory cycles per year, it’s time to talk to your doctor and have some tests done.  


Source:  A typical view on an anovulatory cycle, as marked by tracking basal body temperatures.

If you’re already tracking all of your fertility information every day, it’s quite simple to spot when you’re having an anovulatory cycle.  The charts are fairly clear, and while it may afford some peace of mind to know that you’re actually having an ovulation-free cycle, (vs. waiting and waiting, wondering if you’re pregnant or not)  it doesn’t change that you’re period could come at any time it feels like it.

To call what bleeding happens after an anovulatory cycle “a period” is a bit misinformative.  It’s not a traditional period.  It is, instead, the shedded accumulation of your uterine lining, caused by having too much estrogen in your system.  It is not possible to have a regular, actual menstrual period as an adult woman without actually having ovulated.  

What causes anovulation?

It is not uncommon for a woman’s body to not ovulate every once in a while.  Adult women should, however, be looking into causes if they find they are not ovulating for several cycles within a given year.  Such behavior can be a sign of a variety of health propblems, such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).  Generally, if you’re only missing a few ovulations in a given year, the culprit is most likely stress.  Stress, in many different forms, can delay ovulation.  Usually stressors will only delay it.  However, in some cases, such as when individual stressors continue to disrupt your cycle, your body will simply quit trying to ovulate and dump the excess estrogen in what resembles a period.  We talked about that above.  The type of stressors can be just about anything!  For instance, traveling plays a huge hand in delayed ovulation.  Perhaps you have your in-laws coming to stay, or you’re tenting for termites.  That’s what happened to me this cycle…


We began trying to conceive in late spring, and my first full “let’s make a baby” cycle ended in late June.  I’ve not had the opportunity to try again, as I’m now on day 50 (FIFTY!!!) of a cycle that generally runs anywhere from 28 to 34 days.  Charting has shown that I am not pregnant.  Further, it shows that my body has geared up to try and ovulate at least three times over the past fifty days.  The first round, right on time, ended up falling right over when we were tenting for termites.  The stress and travel delayed ovulation.  Then, we lost a dear friend in a tragic death.  I’m unsure what caused the third attempt to give up, but it’s safe to say that there will be no baby this (ridiculously long) cycle.  

At this point, I’m practically begging to start my next cycle.  Do you have any idea how hormonal a woman gets with 50 days worth of estrogen dumped into her system?  Today’s brilliant cure was brought to the safety for all within reaching distance by deep fried Oreo cookies, topped with vanilla ice cream, from Shark Bite Grill in Jupiter.  Normally, I would never entertain the idea of eating something like that.  Holy hell, I’m so very glad I did.  Humanity is safe for another day.  LOL!



About Pea Kay

Pea Kay, otherwise known as Tonks, The Unhinged Knitter, moonlights at night as an infamous Cupcake Warrior. To learn more about what she does, visit the core pages of!


  1. […] only had two chances to get it right since then, as most of the summer ended up being one ridiculously long anovulatory cycle.  This horrid cycle ended at the end of August, and we thought maybe we’d get back on […]

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