Ovulation is a critical component of conception, but it may not have much of a bearing on whether a woman has a miscarriage. Some medical professionals assume that if a woman conceives from an early ovulation, she's at higher risk of having a miscarriage, but there is some conflicting information from fertility experts.
Ovulation and Miscarriage
The link between ovulation and pregnancy is strong, but this isn't the case with ovulation and miscarriage. The strongest link between the two is that a woman must be pregnant to experience a miscarriage. Without ovulating, the pregnancy wouldn't occur.
The relationship between follicular phase length (how long it takes for the ovarian follicle to develop) seems to be weak, if not nonexistent. Some professionals disagree on some aspects of fertility, ovulation, and miscarriage, which makes the topic confusing.
Can Late or Early Ovulation Lead to Miscarriage?
If a woman doesn't ovulate, she won't become pregnant, but does it really make a difference if the egg is released early or late? Consider some points that may play a role in conception and miscarriage.
Two leading IVF experts offer two very different perspectives of ovulation and conception, which can confuse the issue. Although conception is the main focus of their respective endeavors, the risk of miscarriage is a key component as well. If ovulating too early or too late can increase the risks of losing the pregnancy, then women trying to conceive have another stressful problem to factor.
According Dr. Sami David's book, Making Babies, follicular phases that last longer than 20 days can deteriorate the quality of the egg and increase the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, which can lead to miscarriage.
On the other hand, Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, the executive medical director at Monterey Bay IVF Program, disagrees with the notion that longer follicular phases can increase the risk of chromosomal abnormalities. He states in his blog, "There is no connection between follicular phase length and miscarriage."
If Dr. Ramirez is correct, ovulating too early would not increase the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and it would not relate to miscarriage. If Dr. David (who is a reproductive endocrinologist) is correct, the duration of the follicular phase plays a significant role.
No matter which perspective you prefer, ovulation continues to play a primary role in conception and possibly the health of the baby. Preventing and treating ovulation problems can help.
Preventing and Treating Ovulation Problems
Although it's debatable whether early ovulation leads to miscarriage, problems with ovulating can interfere with the ability to become pregnant. A healthy pregnancy begins with ovulation and an awareness of when the event occurs each month.
Learn to look for telltale signs that you are ovulating and keep track of when it happens every month. Hormones play a big role, so be sure to talk to your doctor about testing progesterone levels if you think that your cycle is abnormal. If you are trying to conceive, your doctor may want to determine whether you have anovulation (ovulation doesn't occur at all).
According to the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, treatments for ovulation problems include:
- Ultrasound to detect if polycystic ovarian disease is present
- Drug therapy, using medications that induce ovulation, like Clomid
- Bromocriptine, which may be used to treat anovulation that is caused by high levels of the hormone prolactin.
Lifestyle and holistic approaches may help, but it is crucial that you discuss any techniques that you adopt with your doctor. Getting proper sleep, moderate exercise, and a healthy diet can also be helpful. Reducing stress levels can yield good results as well.
Supplements like FertilAid are supposed to promote regular ovulation, according to the product's website. Although the supplement contains natural ingredients, it's still imperative that you avoid taking it without talking to your doctor first.
There have been no clinical trials that prove early or late ovulation leads to miscarriage, but irregular cycles and unbalanced hormone levels can interfere with your ability to become--and stay--pregnant. Differing theories about the role the length of the follicular phase plays can make the issue a little murky, but seeing a doctor to determine if you have an irregular cycle can help put you back on track to successfully conceiving.