What is an anovulatory cycle?
An anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle where ovulation doesn’t happen (when no egg cell is released from the ovaries). Anovulation is relatively common, and most of us will experience it from time to time.
Anovulatory cycles are especially common for those who have recently used hormonal contraception, as ovulation is generally inhibited while using hormonal birth control. Other factors may include stress, traveling, medication, changes in lifestyle, menopause, and medical diagnoses (i.e., PCOS).
To find out more about the causes and symptoms of anovulatory cycles, head over to our blog post here.
How can Natural Cycles detect anovulatory cycles?
During an anovulatory cycle, your temperature will remain low during the entire cycle. For that reason, the NC° algorithm will determine that a cycle was anovulatory if it could not detect any temperature rise (if the temperature stays below the cover line throughout the entire cycle).
The NC° algorithm will only be able to confirm that a cycle was anovulatory once the cycle has ended (with a period entry). That’s because until the cycle ends, ovulation could still occur. For that reason, you will get red days until the end of the cycle.
Once the algorithm has determined that a cycle was anovulatory, you'll receive an in-app message to notify you about this.
In the Graph view, you will notice anovulatory cycles when you see an (i) icon with the text ‘No ovulation’.
How should I log the bleeding that happens at the end of an anovulatory cycle?
The bleeding you may experience at the end of an anovulatory cycle is caused by a lack of the hormone estrogen.
This bleeding should be logged as a Period in the app, to let the algorithm know that a new cycle has started.
Is ‘anovulatory’ the same as ‘ovulation not confirmed’?
In some instances, you may notice that the status for the cycle that just ended is ‘Ovulation not confirmed’. This is not the same as the ‘No ovulation’ status that’s shown for anovulatory cycles.
When you get the ‘Ovulation not confirmed’ status, this doesn’t necessarily mean that ovulation didn’t happen – it means that the algorithm didn’t have enough data to be able to confirm if ovulation happened or not. This can happen if you don’t add enough temperature data (less than five temperatures per week) or if your temperatures are fluctuating.
Learn more about the different ovulation statuses here.
Should I be concerned about anovulatory cycles?
As mentioned above, anovulatory cycles are relatively common, so if you experience it from time to time, this is no reason for concern in itself.
That being said, if you notice that a lot of your cycles are detected as anovulatory, or if you have any reason for concern, we would recommend reaching out to a healthcare professional so they can guide you through this.