The common belief that all women’s cycles are the same, last 28 days and ovulation always happens on day 14, is a myth. In fact, your cycle is as unique as you are. In this article we talk about what is ‘normal’, what is ‘average’ and what is simply a ‘myth’.
Cycles that last 28 days
The length of the menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of a woman’s period to the day before her next period. We often hear about the menstrual cycle lasting 28 days however this is a myth. In fact, only 13% of women have 28-day cycles. Normal cycles can range between 21 to 35 days.
Ovulation that happens on day 14
Just like not all women have cycles that last 28 days, ovulation doesn’t happen on day 14 for everyone. Ovulation happens when the maturing eggs have reached a certain developmental state and are producing oestrogen. The levels of oestrogen trigger the pituitary gland in the brain to produce LH which helps the egg to complete maturation and be released from the follicle, ready to be fertilised. A large study recently found that the majority of women ovulate on day 17.
Cycles that are irregular, short or long
Irregular cycles happen when a cycle varies more than just a few days from cycle to cycle. Cycles are also considered irregular when periods are less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days apart. Between 14-25% of women have irregular cycles.
It is normal to have irregular cycles in the first few years of menstruation, and close to menopause. If your periods are irregular outside these times, it’s a good idea to speak with your GP to investigate underlying causes.
As you can see, you don’t need to have a 28-day cycle and ovulate on day 14 to get pregnant.
In fact, if you have regular cycles, that last between 21 to 35 days, pregnancy is possible. Your cycle is as unique as you are. You can track your ovulation with myLotus monitor to identify your LH peak which happens 35 to 44h before ovulation. That is the most fertile time of the month.
If you notice that your cycles last less than 21 days or more than 35 days, vary more than just a few days from cycle to cycle, or there was no LH peak, contact your GP to have further investigations.
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