What Is Late Ovulation?

In order to get pregnant, a woman should try to time intercourse during the four or five days that lead up to ovulation.
Typically, women ovulate about two weeks into their menstrual cycle.
Increased basal body temperature is one of the indications that ovulation is happening or will be happening soon.
Late ovulation is ovulation that occurs after menstrual cycle day 21.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can be a factor in both ovulation and infertility.
Article Details
  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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If you're trying to conceive, it's important to understand your body's ovulation calendar. Ovulation refers to the release of an egg from the ovary. To get pregnant, you should try to time intercourse during the four or five days leading up to ovulation. Sperm takes up to 72 hours to travel to its destination, so intercourse too late in your cycle decreases your chances of getting pregnant.

Normally, a woman will ovulate approximately two weeks into her menstrual cycle. Many doctors recommend women who are concerned about their fertility try to create an ovulation chart before undergoing more detailed medical tests. To figure out when you are ovulating, you must learn to pay attention to your body's ovulation predictors. Increased basal body temperature (BBT), thinning of cervical mucus, increased libido, and increased production of luteinizing hormones (LH) as measured by an over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit are all signs you will be ovulating soon.

If you're in the process of creating an ovulation calendar, keep in mind that the general two week guideline for ovulation assumes you have regular 28 day menstrual cycles. If your cycles tend to be longer or shorter than this, you may ovulate at a different time. However, this is not considered to be late ovulation as long as you are ovulating between cycle day ten and cycle day 21. Only ovulation that occurs after cycle day 21 is considered to be late ovulation.


There are many misconceptions about late ovulation. For example, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), while the most common cause of no ovulation, is not tied to late ovulation. Skipping a month of ovulation is not abnormal, although it may be a cause for concern if it happens more than twice per year. The most common cause of late ovulation is a luteal phase defect indicated by poor follicle production, failure of the uterine lining to respond to normal levels of progesterone, or premature demise of the corpus luteum. Stress, illness, or excessive exercise can also cause late ovulation for some women.

When you are trying to conceive, late ovulation can be problematic for several reasons. First, the quality of the egg is generally not as good as if you had ovulated on time. Second, the lining of your uterus may be too old to support implantation. Finally, late ovulation means fewer chances to try to conceive over time. However, keep in mind that it's not entirely impossible for women with late ovulation to become pregnant.


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Post 3

I ovulated a week late, but now I'm pregnant. Do I have a higher chance of miscarrying due to misforming?

Post 2

I have already made an ovulation calendar because I have been worried for some time that I ovulate late. And from what I can see, I do have this problem. However, I was under the impression that if this was true, it meant that I couldn't get pregnant at all. I am so happy to hear that this is not the case!

Thank you so much! You have given me hope!

Post 1

In addition to late ovulation, another problem which can lead to fertility issues is endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis- in which cysts, or polyps as they are sometimes called, grow on your uterine lining- find that they have trouble conceiving. If you do not think you have late ovulation, and you suffer from bad pelvic pain during your period or even at other times of your cycle, this is another possibility.

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