Ovulation 101: What To Know & Lifestyle Tips That Can Help

If you came off the pill, could it affect ovulation?

“Post-pill amenorrhea can be frustrating for those who want to get pregnant shortly after stopping the pill. Most studies report transient delays in a return to fertility, usually ranging from two to six months after cessation. What I see is that hormonal contraceptives can mask other causes of anovulation, such as PCOS, ovarian insufficiency, or hypothalamic amenorrhea, and those things take time to evaluate and treat. In general, most women who stop the birth control pill will become pregnant within a year if they try to conceive.” – Kalea

“Hormonal birth control pills contain synthetic forms of the hormones produced by the ovaries and work by stopping ovulation. Once you get off of it, you should start ovulating again. However, for some, it can take up to three months for cycles to return to normal. A 2018 study found that 87% of people became pregnant within 12 months of stopping the pill. If you haven’t ovulated after three months, it could be a sign that there might be an underlying problem, and you should get it checked out by a doctor.” – Helen

What can you eat to support healthy eggs?

“A Mediterranean style diet is often recommended for couples who want to improve egg quality and optimize fertility. I recommend a Mediterranean diet for my patients trying to conceive for the first time, as well as those using fertility treatments such as IUI or IVF. Try to emphasize the consumption of fruits and vegetables – eat the rainbow and ideally include some fermented vegetables as well. And make sure you eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, support cell membranes, stabilize blood sugar and can even improve fertility by maintaining healthy blood viscosity (which ensures good blood flow to the uterus). Also focus on food sources of vitamin B6 and folate – think leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, beans, chicken and turkey, which are crucial for optimal fertility, and eat plenty of fiber from vegetables and whole grains to keep the bowels moving and blood sugar balanced. ” – Kalea

What about supplements?

“There are so many supplements out there that contain nutrients in amounts that won’t have much of an impact. It’s also helpful to understand why you’re not ovulating so you know which supplements to take and which you don’t need. For example, if you have PCOS, studies have shown that inositol can help regulate ovulation, but you need to take 4,000 mg to be effective. If you are planning to become pregnant, you will need to take a folic acid supplement daily, as well as eat high-folate foods. You must take 400mg of folic acid every day before you are pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant.” – Jodie Relfregistered dietitian, PCOS specialist and brand ambassador for MyOva

“Anyone who is actively trying to get pregnant, or wants to get pregnant soon, should supplement with folic acid and vitamin D. Different brands of prenatal supplements contain different nutrients, so you may want to look for a supplement that contains zinc, CoQ10 and vitamin C to support ovulation. If you don’t eat two 140g portions of oily fish a week, you might consider taking a daily 450mg EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acid supplement to promote ovulation.” – Helen

Is there anything else that can help?

“Acupuncture is great for helping to regulate ovulation and studies have confirmed that women with PCOS who receive regular acupuncture do see improvements in ovulation. Exercise is also an excellent form of therapy, as are stress management techniques – both often overlooked but incredibly beneficial. If you struggle to regulate your cycle and experience anovulatory cycles, then consider making positive lifestyle changes first and perhaps work with a dietitian who specializes in fertility. If you still feel like you’re struggling after making lifestyle changes, you may benefit from talking to your GP about other treatment options. Medications such as Clomid and Letrozole can help stimulate ovulation, although they have side effects and are much more effective when combined with lifestyle changes. – Jodie

Related Posts