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AIBU?

To not understand ovulation and periods?

91 replies

Walkingonsunshinewoaahhh · 05/09/2022 19:35

Ok, I know I should definitely know this by my age (24) but I’ve only just realised that I don’t. I’ve tried googling and watching YouTube videos and I still can’t wrap my head around it.

what is ovulation?! Like, I know about periods obviously but I always presumed that was ovulation but it’s actually a different thing?

the reason I’m wondering is because I posted about having extremely irregular periods (anything between 30-100+ days between each period) and I could count on one hand how many periods I have in a year. Someone asked if I was ovulating normally and I realised ovulation is different to periods (I always thought it was the same thing!) and I don’t actually know if I’m ovulating on the months my periods are missing. I know you can get tests to check but what does ovulating mean and what does it mean if my periods are missing but I’m ovulating normally? Or if I’m not ovulating?

If anyone could explain this I would be seriously greatful!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

78 votes. Final results.

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KiraKiraHikaru · 05/09/2022 19:36

Ovulating is literally just when the egg is released. A period is when the lining is shed from the uterus.

00100001 · 05/09/2022 19:38

You should go to the doctor and get checked out. You aren't having normal periods. So get checked out

loopylindi · 05/09/2022 19:38

Buy a booklet designed for young girls to explain this.

DramaAlpaca · 05/09/2022 19:40

You need to see your GP to find out what's going on.

piglet81 · 05/09/2022 19:41
StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 05/09/2022 19:42

Ok I'll have a go. Ovulation is when the egg is released from an ovary and begins to travel along the fallopian tube and into the uterus. At the same time your uterus is preparing for you to get pregnant ie starts to build a blood lining. When the egg isn't fertilized it carries on and the uterus sheds the blood lining. Voila - your period. Make sense?

MyNoseIsCold · 05/09/2022 19:42

I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of your Fertility

It explains everything, even the stuff that people who think they know, don’t know.

Sparklesocks · 05/09/2022 19:43

Ovulation is when your egg is released from your ovary and moves down your Fallopian tube into your uterus in expectation of meeting sperm for fertilisation.

Your womb then prepares for potential pregnancy, the lining thickens etc and if the egg remains unfertilised then the lining will come away and that is your period. Then the cycle starts over again. Women will track their ovulation if they are trying to get pregnant. You can figure it out approximately by tracking period dates. Or there are ovulation kits that measure temperature/hormones which indicate when you are ovulating.

You normally ovulate every month if at fertile age, but cycle lengths vary, and not every woman releases an egg every month.

Soubriquet · 05/09/2022 19:44

You definitely need to see a doctor.

A period cycle is on average every 28 days though mine can be about 5 weeks apart.

During the month, the lining of your uterus thickens. During ovulation, an egg is released.

If you have sex, and the egg is fertilised which happens in the Fallopian tube, the egg will bed itself into the uterus lining and hopefully grow into a baby.

If there is no conception, your uterus will have a tantrum (cramps) and shed the lining which is your period.

Once your period is over..it starts all over again.

Now this can be halted with birth control but if you aren’t on birth control, generally this is how it happens

BaileySharp · 05/09/2022 19:46

Ovulation isn't very obvious, it happens usually around 2 weeks before your period and there are tests to check for Ovulation. Having sex when ovulating is how you get pregnant, it is your body releasing an egg. Periods are when you aren't pregnant and your body sheds the egg and uterine lining

babyjellyfish · 05/09/2022 19:49

MyNoseIsCold · 05/09/2022 19:42

I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of your Fertility

It explains everything, even the stuff that people who think they know, don’t know.

Yes, get this book, it explains everything.

Ovulation is when your ovary releases the egg. Menstruation is when your body realises that you aren't pregnant and sheds the soft lining that has been building up in your uterus waiting for a fertilised egg to implant.

Soubriquet · 05/09/2022 19:49

Oh some people can feel ovulation. Apparently it can feel a little stabby on the side the egg is released. Only one ovary per month will release an egg, though in rare cases, one from each side can be released which can result in non identical twins

Sunshineandroses5 · 05/09/2022 19:53

If you have a standard cycle it would look like this:

day 1: period starts and lasts 5-7 days
day 7: end of period
day 14: ovulation
day 28: period due tomorrow (back to day 1)

You can normally tell when your ovulating without peeing on an ovulation stick as your cervical mucus changes. It becomes very wet and slippery which is needed to allow the sperm to travel to the released egg.

betwern day 14 to 28 this is what some people call the 2 week wait, it’s the 2 weeks you need to wait to see if you are pregnant when ttc

Crunchymum · 05/09/2022 19:55

I assume you aren't having sex?

felulageller · 05/09/2022 19:56

I'll not explain it here but you can Google on how to tell if you're ovulating by monitoring mucus.

Walkingonsunshinewoaahhh · 05/09/2022 19:56

Thank you so much everyone for the help (and for not thinking I’m stupid for not knowing this in the first place)

I sort of remembered learning what happens during a period in sex education but I’d forgot most of it and i wasn’t sure exactly which bit the ovulation was but that makes a lot more sense now!

ive already been to the doctors but they said it’s nothing to worry about- I had a blood test as a teenager and my thyroid is fine so they said I don’t need anymore tests. I’m not on any birth control

someone commented on a previous post and asked if I was ovulating normally- on the months my period is missing, does that mean I’m not ovulating at all on those months? Because if I was ovulating and an egg was being realised, surely I would need to have a period to get rid of it and sometimes I’m not having a period at all.

sorry I’ve just confused myself about it all! Thanks again for the help.

OP posts:
Walkingonsunshinewoaahhh · 05/09/2022 19:58

Yeah, I had a quick Google and saw you can get ovulation sticks and tests to see if you’re ovulating- I was thinking of doing it on the months I’m missing my period to see if I’m ovulating but I wasn’t sure if there was a point because if I’m not getting my period then I guess I can’t be ovulating?!

all this girl stuff is so confusing! I’m 24 so I should definitely have the hang of it all by now! 🥴

OP posts:
Walkingonsunshinewoaahhh · 05/09/2022 19:59

Crunchymum · 05/09/2022 19:55

I assume you aren't having sex?

No I’m not x

OP posts:
SBAM · 05/09/2022 19:59

I think you do need to go back to the GP, chances are you aren’t ovulating as I believe something about ovulation then triggers a hormonal change which results in your period roughly two weeks later. Also, 100 days between periods is very unusual, I used to have very long cycles and the longest I had was about 48 days.
If I were you I’d double check you’re not pregnant, then go to the GP with a record of your periods over the last year and ask them to arrange some blood tests or refer you to gynaecology.

VestaTilley · 05/09/2022 20:04

Missing periods can be a sign of PCOS, or undernourishment, amongst other things.

Do you exercise a lot, or not eat regular meals? A friend had huge gaps between periods, then when she was stuck at home during lockdown and unable to go to the gym, started getting her periods every month again! She’d be hugely over-exercising for years! (And, I suspect, not eating enough, but I didn’t say that to her…)

BadgerFace · 05/09/2022 20:11

Taking evening primrose oil can help to regulate your cycles. I know not what you asked but I didn’t know this and had very irregular periods for nearly 30 years. Since taking evening primrose oil I have has 3 years of 29/30 day cycles which has been an utter revelation!

Walkingonsunshinewoaahhh · 05/09/2022 20:12

I’m definitely not pregnant (that’s the one part I can absolutely guarantee haha.)

I don’t overexercise a lot and I try to eat regular meals- I’m not unhealthy but I’m not particularly health conscious either, just very much average and in the middle if that makes sense.

I probably should have mentioned that this isn’t a new change, I’ve been like this since I started my period, hence why I got my hormones checked when I was a teenager. They said my thyroid is fine and I’ll grow out of this but I haven’t, and last time I asked they said its normal.

an example of a typical year would be..
period January, February, June, September and December. Nothing inbetween. These months.

obviously that isn’t exact but just an example of what it’s typically like- sometimes i get a normal 30 day gap between periods and other times it’s more than 100 days. The longest I’ve ever had was around 220 days between periods 🥴

OP posts:
CandyLeBonBon · 05/09/2022 20:15

Pcos is an obvious marker for this. When did your periods start op?

CandyLeBonBon · 05/09/2022 20:17

Soubriquet · 05/09/2022 19:49

Oh some people can feel ovulation. Apparently it can feel a little stabby on the side the egg is released. Only one ovary per month will release an egg, though in rare cases, one from each side can be released which can result in non identical twins

Yes. It's called mittelschmerz. I used to exactly when I'd ovulated.

CaveMum · 05/09/2022 20:21

You sound exactly like me OP: late starting periods (15), very irregular when they did come. GP’s response was to put me on the Pill to regulate them. Fast forward to age 30, I come off the pill to try and conceive and don’t have a period for almost a year. Back to new GP who referred me for checks and hey presto diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) at age 31.

It’s actually pretty common, estimates are 1 in 10 women have it in some form, ranging from mild to more serious. Talk to your Dr but if you do get a diagnosis (blood tests and ultrasound scans) then look up Verity, a charity for women with PCOS. It’s pretty easy to manage, if you have a milder type, through low GI diet etc but it can make you more susceptible to certain illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, etc.

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