Anovulation (lack of ovulation) or abnormal ovulation is a common cause of infertility, but it can also lead to a host of other issues including digestive problems, mood imbalances, cognitive function changes, and difficulty with weight management.

Anovulation means that ovulation is either not occurring or not happening at the appropriate time within your menstrual cycle, which is typically about halfway through. This accounts for 30 to 40 percent of infertility cases.

Here are the top signs of abnormal ovulation:

  • Irregular cycle length: Cycles that are shorter than 24 days can indicate difficulties with ovulation. A short menstrual cycle may suggest that your luteal phase is insufficiently long to allow your uterine lining to adequately prepare for pregnancy. Additionally, a decrease in available eggs may prompt an increase in FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), leading to early follicle development and premature ovulation, thus shortening the cycle.
  • Long cycles: If your cycle lasts longer than 35 days, ovulation may be absent or occurring irregularly. Longer cycles can occur when a follicle does not mature and release an egg, preventing progesterone release. Without progesterone, the uterine lining thickens continuously due to estrogen, becoming unstable and eventually resulting in often heavy, unpredictable bleeding.
  • Lack of ovulation signs: Key hormonal changes during ovulation impact cervical mucus and basal body temperature. During ovulation, cervical mucus should become clear, slippery, and stretchy, like egg whites. A lack of these changes can indicate anovulation.
  • No rise in basal body temperature (BBT): BBT tracking each morning can help determine if and when ovulation occurs. A typical post-ovulation increase in BBT, due to heightened progesterone levels, will be absent in cases of anovulation.
  • Very light menstruation: Bleeding for fewer than two days or very light bleeding could suggest high cortisol levels disrupting normal hormone production.
  • Heavy menstruation: Experiencing large blood clots, soaking through pads or tampons frequently, bleeding for more than seven days, or having unbearable menstrual cramps can indicate an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. This may occur if the follicle fails to release, causing excess estrogen, or if it releases too early, leading to excessive progesterone. This results in a thickened uterine lining and heavy bleeding.

Common causes of abnormal ovulation include:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • High prolactin levels
  • Certain medications
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure before age 40)
  • Stress
  • Blood sugar/insulin imbalances

Many of these issues suggest an immune system under stress or nutritional deficiencies affecting the endocrine system. Addressing the root causes of these imbalances, such as parasites, chemicals, heavy metals, and stress, is crucial. Supporting hormonal health through diet—rich in healthy fats, proteins, and foods high in B vitamins, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, and magnesium—is very important.

My top three favorite supplements to support ovulation are: Ovex, Symplex F, and HPA Axis.

If you suspect you have abnormal ovulation, consult your healthcare provider or contact our office to learn how we can support you.

Dr. Taggy Bensaïd, ND