Temperature fluctuations

A woman’s basal body temperature fluctuates daily, some days more than others. Changes in behaviour can cause fluctuations as well – for example, change in sleeping habits, travel or sickness can cause basal body temperature to fluctuate. This can cause the Natural Cycles algorithm to take longer to understand where you are in your cycle. Let’s read more about these potential temperature triggers!


Change in amount of sleep

Some of our Cyclers are taking care of an infant, other’s work odd hour jobs, while others have irregular sleeping schedules. Natural Cycles can work for everyone, it’s just a matter of what kind of sleeping schedule your body is used to. 
For those working odd hour jobs, if you usually work two nights per week, we recommend you measure five days within the same time frame and skip the days you work nights. Then, measure the first day after switching to daytime. Try to measure within the same time frame (+-2 hours timeframe), as soon as you wake up. If you have a baby and need to wake up during the night often, we do recommend you to measure after your longest stretch of sleep, or at least three hours. 


Travel


If you travel within different time zones, skip measuring for couple of days so your body gets used to the change and then measure as usual.Always skip measuring if you get 2h more/less of sleep than usually.
If you think that your temperature still fluctuates keep measuring until you complete one cycle of measuring and adding data in the Natural Cycles app. (A cycle begins on the first day of menstruation and ends when your next menstruation comes.) That is the best way to spot a fluctuation. You will clearly see what is a fluctuation and what’s not. (See picture below.)

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This graph shows typical temperature fluctuations. There are temperatures that are too low to be in the luteal phase, and on the opposite too high temperature values in the follicle phase. Please check your statistic page to see how much your temperature usually varies in the different phases. 

temperature_inactivate

Inactivate temperatures through the history view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can deactivate outlier temperature measurements, which may give you better statistics. You can do so through the history view or by clicking  at a date in the monthly view.

 

We welcome emails from you – please reach out to us if you need help you with your chart!

 

Here you can find a video on how to measure your basal body temperature, and read more about how and when to measure your temperature.

Best,
The Natural Cycles Team

5 Facts About Ovulation

 

Whether you’re planning a pregnancy or tracking your fertility, understanding when you ovulate is key. This week we’ve gathered a couple of cool facts around ovulation that maybe you weren’t aware of. Find out below!

 1. The female egg cell is the biggest cell!

Most cells in our bodies cannot be seen without a microscope, but the female egg cell is big enough to be visible to the naked eye. Pretty cool!

eggcell2. Women are born with all the eggs that she will ever produce during her lifetime.

We are born with 1-2 million immature eggs (follicles) in our ovaries. Once a woman reaches puberty roughly 500 of these will mature into an egg cell that can be fertilized throughout our lifetime.  

3. The egg cell only lives 12-24 hours

Once released, an egg can only be fertilized over the next 12-24 hours. Sperm, on the other hand, can live up to 5 days if the sperm encounters the right environment.

4. Normally only 1 egg is released each ovulation.

However, some women have the potential to release two eggs during one cycle, one per ovary, which is how fraternal twins are made! This is only possible within a 24 hour period. Afterwards, ovulation is prevented by the high progesterone values in your body, which is what Natural Cycles detects in your temperature (rise of 0.2-0.45 °C).

naturalcycles_ovary5. You can get your period although no ovulation has occurred.

We see in our Cyclers’ data that around 5% of the cycles are in fact anovulatory – meaning that no ovulation has occurred. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. The bleeding that follows is then due to the estrogen rising, rather than the progesterone decreasing, and is thus not exactly the same as a normal menstruation.

This was all for now Cyclers!
Please comment if you have any questions and read more in our support portal ask.naturalcycles.com.

LH – Luteinizing hormone

 

The hormones in our body changes during the menstrual cycle, generating different reactions in the body. LH stands for luteinizing hormone and it plays an important role during our menstrual cycle. We always have a certain amount of LH in our bodies, and a surge occurs 1-3 days before ovulation when the amount of LH increases. Therefore detecting the LH-surge means that the body is initiating an ovulation.

Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got positive LH-tests but Natural Cycles did not confirm my ovulation?

What is important to remember is that positive LH-test does not confirm the ovulation, it only means that it is likely that your body will initiate ovulation soon. Sometimes LH is released but no ovulation happens. If ovulation doesn’t happen, then no progesterone is released and our temperature stays low. Without the increase in progesterone, there is nothing preventing ovulation to happen in the future.

Positive LH-tests must therefore be followed by a rise in temperature (due to progesterone being released) for Natural Cycles to confirm ovulation. So if you get positive LH-tests, it’s important to keep measuring your temperature to check that it does indeed rise some days later!

 


Ovulation is confirmed in the Natural Cycles app even if I only get negative LH-tests?

Natural Cycles can confirm your ovulation even if you enter negative LH-tests. This is because negative LH-tests does not mean that you will not ovulate – perhaps you have ovulation on the same day that you measured for LH! Or maybe you tested for LH after drinking a lot of fluid which made LH in your urine less concentrated.

We recommend to measure LH between 10am-8pm, and use concentrated urine (i.e. make sure you haven’t visited the bathroom or taken in a lot of fluids the 2 hours prior to testing). Read more here about measuring LH.

 

LHStick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does it look in the Natural Cycles app?

The Natural Cycles app will indicate when it’s time to take an LH test in both today’s, weekly and monthly prognosis. (See video below.) If you just started with Natural Cycles after quitting the pill, or if you have very irregular cycles, the app might need to get to know you a bit better before indicating which days to test for LH. This is to avoid for you to have to take a lot of LH tests in one cycle. If that happens, it’s important to keep measuring your temperature! 🙂

 

 


Read more about LH in our support portal ask.naturalcycles.com and look up our Q&A with #AskNaturalCycles on social media!

Best
The Natural Cycles Team

 

The new ovulation pictogram

With the release of the 2.0 version of our app we made a lot of visual changes. The reasons for these are plentiful, one of them is that we want to be more educational. Our goal is that our cyclers will learn more about their body from using the application. This will become even more apparent in future releases but a very clear example is the design of the new ovulation pictogram.

The ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries, so the obvious symbol to represent this is an egg. But not any egg, the human egg. Let it be known that the human egg—or ovum—does not look anything like a chicken egg, nor a grain of rice. To make it simple, the ovum is and looks like a cell. A roundish shape, approximately 0.12 mm in diameter, consisting of—among other things—an outer membrane and a nucleus. This is what the new ovulation pictogram depicts. You can see a picture of a real ovum below along with our previous and new pictogram. Note that a pictogram is intended to work in black and white, in small sizes and to be clearly visible even if viewed at a distance.

We are hopeful that our new pictogram will remind and/or educate cyclers and their partners on what the ovum is. Even in its simplified appearance. 

egg

What your cycle says about your fertility

Once upon a time women weren’t able to discuss their health needs – orgasms was a forbidden topic of conversation, advertising for contraception was illegal and sanitary pads were impossible to hunt down in your local store. However, luckily times have changed. Women have become more vocal about their needs, with taboo-breaking social media campaigns such as #livetweetyourperiod and also become savvier due to a rise in more female-targeted products, which give women valuable health info about themselves.

We think sexual and reproductive health shouldn’t be an afterthought to general health care, it should be taken more seriously! In light of Fertility Awareness Week this week, we wanted to shed some light on how Natural Cycles, which is programmed to spot underlying fertility issues, can help you keep a closer eye on your health so nothing gets in the way of your reproductive goals.

As you may already know, changes in temperature throughout your cycle is directly linked to what is going on in your body.  A rise in temperature indicates ovulation has occurred and a cooling of the body happens as your new cycle begins and you get your period. However, these events don’t always happen, which could be linked to your reproductive health. For instance, anovulatory cycles (no ovulation), frequent periods (short luteal phase) or excessive pain leading up to your period can all be indicators of a health issue that might need a closer look from your doctor. Here’s what to look out for!

 

Anovulatory cycles

Anovulatory cycles is when a women skips ovulation. Without ovulation it is impossible to get pregnant, which is why it is linked to infertility. Anovulatory cycles are common amongst women especially if you have only recently started your period, come off the pill,  on the lead up to menopause or if you are breastfeeding.
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Periods still appear as normal during anovulatory cycles as your endometrial lining still sheds (estrogen breakthrough bleeding), so if a woman is not tracking her cycle, it is likely that she may not even know she has had one.

The most common cause of anovulatory cycles is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects 8 to 12 percent of all women. PCOS is strongly linked to lifestyle as are the occasional anovulatory cycles, which can be caused by obesity, stress, illness, thyroid dysfunction and even travelling.

Tell tale signs of PCOS are heavy periods, acne, facial hair and excess belly fat. And if you’re tracking your cycle your cycles will appear irregular, longer than average at around 35 days and you will have a lack of temperature shifts (rise of 0.2 – 0.45C), which indicates that no ovulation occurred. The algorithm will notify you if it captures an anovulatory cycle and furthermore, if your cycles are more than 40% anovulatory it will recommend that you visit a doctor to get assessed.  

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It is important to diagnose PCOS as there are simple changes that you can make to your lifestyle that can control it. Eco Watch has a great article to help women overcome PCOS through changes to their diet.

 

Frequent periods

Frequent periods may be caused by an abnormality in your endometrial development – the lining of your uterus – which is known as a Luteal phase defect.

The luteal phase is the stage of your menstrual cycle that occurs after ovulation and before your period starts. During this phase, progesterone causes the endometrium to thicken in order to support the implantation of a fertilised egg, however, with luteal phase defect, the lining of the uterus does not grow properly, which can make it difficult to get or stay pregnant. This can be because either your ovaries do not release enough progesterone or the lining of the uterus does not properly respond to the progesterone.

Luteal phase defect is often characterised by a short luteal phase, which can difficult to diagnose as there is no single test that can but monitoring the number of days between ovulation and your period is a good start. Natural Cycles is a useful tool, as it will notify you if it suspects such irregularities if for instance your luteal phase is often found to be shorter than 9 days long.

 

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Painful periods

Symptoms such as severe menstrual cramps and pain during intercourse can be indicative of a condition called, Endometriosis. It is a condition that affects around 10% of women and is where uterine cells that normally shed during menstruation implant in other places in the body. The cells that continue to act like uterine cells, create scar tissue at the time of menstruation which is what causes pain and often infertility.

If you experience painful menstrual cramps, it is worth monitoring your cycle to look out for other symptoms, such as premenstrual spotting, periods lasting longer than 8 days, low luteal phase temperatures near the cover line and feeling tired throughout your cycle.

If you suspect you might be suffering from endometriosis and not just bad period pains, speak to your doctor and ask whether it could be possible. Before visiting your doctor, It is worth knowing that endometriosis takes on average 7.5 years from onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis [Ref. 1] as many doctors believe it doesn’t occur in young women. Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing endometriosis but there are ways of managing symptoms and in some cases, eradicating the disease with surgery.

So there you have it Cyclers, the reproductive organs are important to track along with your general health like your heartbeat or sleep patterns! Sex-tracking technologies, like Natural Cycles, have the power to help people take more charge of their health and communicate better with their doctors so there’s no more guessing games!  

 

References:

 

 

  • Diagnosis Survey. Endometriosis UK. February 2011.

 

 

When Will I Ovulate?

For couples trying to conceive (TTC), knowing your menstrual cycle is extremely important. One of the important questions you might be asking is; “ When will I ovulate? ”. That’s where Natural Cycles comes in. The app will tell you exactly when you are most fertile and give you a very accurate prediction of when you will ovulate by analysing your temperature and cycle. So you can get under the sheets with your loved one when it’s a good time and get to know your body while you’re at it. 

Let’s start with the basics.

Ovulation day is when an egg is released from the ovary and is ready to be fertilised by a sperm. An egg lives for up to 24 hours- As sperm can survive inside of you for up to 5 days,  this creates a 6 day fertile window, which is the timeframe when a woman can get pregnant. However, the likelihood of conceiving is dramatically increased if you have intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation. If a woman has sex on any of these three days, she has a 27-33% chance of becoming pregnant [REF: Wilcox, A.J. et al. NEJM (1995) 333:1517].

Kalendar view: red colours indicate how fertile you are, the darker the red the more fertile you are

A good first step to get to know your cycle and find your fertile period is to know how long it is on average.  Day one is the first day of the menstrual period and the last day is the day before the next period begins. A general rule is the longer your cycle is, the later your ovulation day will be. For instance, a cycle that is long with 33 days between periods with an average ovulation day of CD 21, which means my most fertile days are CD 19, 20 and 21. If you have shorter cycle, say 21 days between periods, ovulation is likely to happen on CD 7 and your highest chance of getting pregnant will be on CD 5, 6, and 7.

However, these days are never set, especially for us irregular ladies. Have you ever noticed your period coming earlier or later than usual? Or ever wondered why your pregnancy test is negative even though you have no period? Well, it’s because a woman’s follicular phase, the first half of your cycle before ovulation, is often variable – my follicular phase can vary up to 6 days! What this all means is that your ovulation day can differ from cycle to cycle, which is why it is good to keep track of your temeprature and cycle with Natural Cycles. With a clear rise in temperature and a positive ovulation test (optional), ovulation can be confirmed and your fertile window is mapped for your upcoming cycle, which are indicated by red days. TIP: It is important to measure as much as possible in the week leading up to ovulation to ensure that we capture any variations!

 

Another popular question women ask about their cycles is, “When will I have my period?” or “When should I take a pregnancy test?”

Let’s review the second half of the cycle: The Luteal Phase.

This is the infertile stage of your cycle and is pretty consistent (usually around 12 to 14 days). This means it is a useful menstrual cycle characteristic that can be used to determine when you are likely to get your period, which is approx. 2 weeks after ovulation. However, you should know that the length of the luteal phase can also be quite individual and can vary between 6 and 18 days, so you should never assume that your ovulation day was two weeks prior to this. Instead it is much safer to calculate ovulation with reliable fertility indicators, such as temperature and ovulation prediction kits (OPKs), like we do.

Know when your period is coming up

Once Natural Cycles has detected your ovulation day it can accurately determine when your next period is due so you can keep calm and carry on!

Period trackers, which are based on the rhythm method, assume you are regular. Their primary goal is to let you know approximately when you can expect your next period, which will be around the same time each month as they do not detect ovulation or variations from your data. However, Natural Cycles, gets to know and adapts to your cycle no matter what shape or size it is, calculating your unique ovulation day each cycle giving you an accurate idea of when your period will come (variations included) each month.

At the end of your Luteal Phase, when you get your period, your temperatures will drop down again and the app will let you know a new cycle begins!


When will I ovulate and get my period?

 

 

Pregnancy tracker – plan users

Women usually take a pregnancy test from the first day of their missed period but not many know that the earliest point a woman can take a test is after the egg has been implanted in the endometrium at around day 9. It is fairly easy to recognise when you are pregnant if you are regular and know when your period is due but as mentioned before, if you are not, your period date could vary according to the length of your follicular or luteal phase each cycle.

Natural Cycles is a great tool for women that are planning a pregnancy, as it can determine from your data whether or not you have become pregnant! At the end of your Luteal Phase, if you don’t get your period and your temperature remains high (above the cover line) – the app will recommend that you take a pregnancy test to confirm it’s true.

 

Pregnant

 

If this is the case and you are pregnant, your temperature data entry dots will turn blue on your cycles chart.

Chart view: If your temperature stays elevated at the end of your luteal phase it means you might be pregnant and should take a pregnancy test to confirm. Blue dots indicate that you are pregnant.

As part of fertility awareness week, our next blog post we will talk about how fertility tracking can help you understand your reproductive health. Ask yourself, does your period come too often or maybe it doesn’t come at all? Find out answers next week or if you want to know sooner please get in touch with support@naturalcycles.com or visit ask.naturalcycles.com

Yours naturally,

The Natural Cycles team

xx

What does a positive LH test mean?

“I took an LH-test which showed positive, however, Natural Cycles indicated that my ovulation day was in fact later than this?”

We’ve got the answer to the question you’ve all been asking:

The hormone LH actually rises before ovulation and does not indicate the day of ovulation. So while you might have a positive LH test, it does not indicate that you have ovulated, nor that you are ovulating at this very moment.

A positive LH test is rather an indication that ovulation is about to occur.

That’s why an ovulation test can be positive a few days before ovulation up until the day of ovulation. The algorithm takes LH tests as indicators into account, yet the temperature shift indicates and verifies that ovulation has indeed occurred. Sometimes LH tests can give what is called a false-positive. This means that even if the test indicates that your body is experiencing a rise in LH, it doesn’t actually mean that ovulation is going to happen within the next day or so as you’d expect. And to note, this can be especially true and common if you have Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS). In these cases, NaturalCycles will not agree with the ovulation test because a rise in LH before ovulation has to also accompany a rise in temperature after ovulation. This is why combining both ovulation tests and temperature is such a powerful combination because together they confirm that ovulation has definitely occurred.

Your Natural Cycles team.

When and how to suspect infertility

How long it takes to conceive is a common question and hot discussion topic. On average, for any given month, there’s a 30% chance of conception for a couple that’s trying. This number decreases if you are older, especially after 40, and if you smoke, etc. On the other hand if you know when you ovulate, for instance with NaturalCycles, and manage to time intercourse, the chances are higher. 95% of pregnancies happened when the couple had sex either on the day of ovulation or the two days prior to ovulation.

On average it takes a couple 6 months to fall pregnant, but what is hidden behind this number is the fact that for most couples it goes faster and for a few it can take significantly longer. About 15% of couples have trouble conceiving, but only 5% of those are truly infertile. This means that 95% of couples will be able to conceive naturally if they time intercourse well and have a little patience. Especially if you are a bit older, it’s important to time intercourse on the most fertile day in the cycle.

Infertility causes - NaturalCycles

Credit: Wikipedia

When a couple tries to conceive and doesn’t fall pregnant, it can be due to several causes. Maybe they simply didn’t time intercourse right or the woman was having an anovulatory cycle. If the conditions of sperm meeting egg were good, there’s a chance that no high-quality sperm made it up into the fallopian tubes and managed to fertilize the egg. But even if the egg did manage to get fertilized, it still has to travel down to the uterus and get implanted about 9 days later. One common problem is that the woman’s luteal phase isn’t long enough for the egg to have time to implant in the uterine lining. This condition is called the Luteal Phase Defect.

If the egg gets fertilized and implanted, the risk of having a very early miscarriage, also called a “chemical pregnancy”, is high. This is your body’s way to getting rid of a fetus that is somehow damaged or has chromosomal abnormalities. Most women do not notice if they’ve had a chemical pregnancies unless they’ve already seen a faint line on a pregnancy test followed by menstruation a few days later. If you use NaturalCycles, you would see it as a delayed menstruation and hence a longer than usually luteal phase. How common chemical pregnancies actually are is hard to say, since they usually go unnoticed.

Things to ask yourself if you suspect infertility:

– In your NaturalCycles account you can see how often you have anovulatory cycles or very long cycles (> 40 days). This might be due to a hormonal imbalance that could be fixed. Show your doctor your cycle information.

Infertility - NaturalCycles

– Check with your NaturalCycles account how long your average luteal phase is. If it is shorter than 9 days this might impose problems for the fertilized egg to implant. Consult your doctor on this, as taking extra progesterone can prolong the luteal phase and help you conceive.

Infertility - Luteal phase - NaturalCycles

– Be aware if you frequently have chemical pregnancies (early miscarriages). You would see this as a positive pregnancy test followed by menstruation a few days later or a delayed menstruation with a longer than usual luteal phase.

– If nothing seems to be wrong with you or your cycle, remember that about half of infertility problems originate from the man. Nowadays one can buy very cheap sperm count tests to try at home. Here’s an example. So you can make a first test together in peace before you need to go to the clinic and spend a lot of time and money.

One thing to remember is to not to worry or stress too much about this. As I mentioned before, only 5% of couples are declared completely infertile and more than 50% of those will respond to fertility treatments. Don’t rush to the IVF clinic to go through the most expensive and emotionally exhausting treatment right away. Try to conceive naturally first, and follow your cycle closely to see if there’s indeed a problem that is easy to fix.

Will quitting the pill disrupt your cycle?

I get a lot of concerned questions from women who are coming off the pill, or other hormonal contraception, and starting to use NaturalCycles as a birth control. How much will the hormones affect my cycle? Will NaturalCycles be safe and take the pill into account? How many green days (no need for condom) will I get? For those who are not familiar with NaturalCycles, it is a natural contraception, which analyses your body temperature, and optionally ovulation test data, to determine when you are fertile (red days) and when you most definitely are not fertile (green days).

Contraceptive pill

How much will the hormones affect my cycle?

The cycles of many women, although they had been many years on hormones, just directly go back to normal. Some women are only mildly affected, like for instance myself. I had the Implanon (the hormonal implant in the arm) for 10 years and after taking it out, my first 2 cycles were 5 weeks long, then a few cycles were 4 weeks and then back to 3.5 weeks, which is normal for me. Some women are unfortunately highly affected. The worst case I saw was a woman who quit the pill last summer and started measuring for NaturalCycles. Her first cycle was 108 days and since the time between ovulation and the next menstruation usually stays the same for one woman, she ovulated on day 97. Her next cycle was a bit shorter; about two months, and the one after that about 6 weeks. Basically it took almost a year until her cycle was back to normal.

The research that has been carried out on the subject has different conclusions, much depending on who was financing and/or performing the studies (one should not forget that the pharmaceutical industry has a very strong lobbying business). One interesting fact that I read is that the hormonal treatment that affects the cycle the most is the combined oral pill, which contains both progesterone and estrogen. For women using the combined pill, 50% got severely affected for the following year after stopping the pill. This was clear from a study performed on women quitting the pill in order to get pregnant and the majority of women who had been taken the combined pill had more difficulties to get pregnant. The good news is that after a year of being free of hormones more than 90% of the women had gone back to having regular cycles.

One conclusion to draw from this is that it is important to quit the pill quite some time before one plans to get pregnant. Not only due to the decreased chances of falling pregnant, but also to give the body a break for a while. It’s clear that being on a constant dose of hormones, is very disruptive and unhealthy for the body. If this is followed directly by pregnancy, which is an even stronger dose with lots of hormones, it might be even more difficult to find a balance again after the pregnancy and breastfeeding is over.

Will NaturalCycles be safe and take the pill into account?

Yes, definitely. When you set up your personal account with NaturalCycles, we ask you if you’ve recently been on the pill, for how long and when you stopped. NaturalCycles will then be extra cautious with your cycle and it knows that it’s very likely that you’ll start off with longer cycles, due to delayed ovulation, which will get shorter and shorter with time. So there is no need to worry, just be patient and confident that your cycle will eventually go back to normal.

How many green days (no need for condom) will I get?

How many green days you will get of course greatly depends on how much your cycle is disruptive by the use of hormones. If your cycle directly goes back to being somewhat regular, then no problem, you will get a nice amount of green days. If your cycle is very disrupted and you almost never ovulate, then the green days will be few. In that case, on the other hand, it is still very useful to monitor your cycle and confirm that it is slowly improving with time. The woman I mentioned above, who had a very disturbed cycle after quitting the pill, only had 25% green days her first year using NaturalCycles. 25% is still better than nothing and it’s nice for a couple to not have to use condoms 100% of the time, which is the other option when quitting the pill.

Overall, it is a big decision to quit the pill and to change birth control, and there is no guarantee that your cycle and body will just continue as nothing happened if you have been taking hormones for years. It’s nevertheless important to give your body a chance and to try to take the healthier path for the future.

Elina on the beach at sunset

Are you ovulating? (Anovulatory cycles)

Although you might get your period, it does not necessarily imply that you ovulated.

There is something called anovulatory cycles, which are cycles where ovulation simply doesn’t happen.

This might be difficult to notice unless you are tracking your cycles and charting your temperature, but might also show up as delayed menstruation and mid-cycle spotting.  Anovulatory cycles tend to occur occasionally throughout the childbearing years and are then a rather common cause of infertility. They are however most common during adolescence and in the years before menopause.

The picture below shows a temperature chart of an anovulatory cycle of a real woman. The anovulatory cycle is often longer than usual. It does still end in a bleeding, caused by the lack of estrogen rather than progesterone, as is the case for a normal ovulatory cycle.

temperature chart for anovulatory cycles - NaturalCycles

Anovulation can arise from a number of causes, ranging from severe diet and exercise or stress to complex disruptions in the relationships between tiny glands in the brain that control our most basic functions. Hormonal imbalances are the most probable cause. An intense program of exercise can interfere with the ovulatory cycle by suppressing the output of hormones called gonadotropins from the hypothalamus in the brain. The disorder may also result from hypothalamic dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, polycystic ovary syndrome, luteal phase defects, or tumors of the pituitary gland adrenal gland or ovaries.

Another possible contributor to anovulation is the long-term use of certain medications. Steroidal oral contraceptives (the Pill) could likely be responsible. These drugs work by intentionally disrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, suppressing ovulation and thereby preventing pregnancy and this often causes prolonged anovulation also after quitting the pill.

If you suspect you might be having anovulatory cycles, you should track your cycles and detect your ovulation by measuring your basal body temperature. NaturalCycles keeps track of your anovulatory cycles for you and NC Planning even gives you fertility advice accordingly. If you discover that you have such a problem you should consult your doctor, as there are treatments and medications that could help.