Ovulation is the whole reason the menstrual cycle exists, which is kind of a big deal. Ya know, the reason for humanity and all that.
I’m sure you’ve heard me go on and on about all the things that stop ovulation and have a negative impact on your period and fertility – stress, crappy food choices, a low-calorie diet, too much exercise, oh and did I say stress? 🙂
Believe it or not, there are some culprits out there that you might never have guessed are suppressing your ovulation. Even I couldn’t believe it when I learned about some of them!
Here’s what can stop ovulation
- The health of your mouth
- Low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
Are you surprised by any of these? If so, I want to know in the comments below! As you know, I LOVE to dig into the details, so let’s go!
Can melatonin levels affect ovulation?
Yes, if melatonin is too low or too high, it can affect ovulation and subsequently fertility. I know, waaah, so confusing.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and it is responsible for regulating our circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles. Basically it helps us fall and stay asleep. Unfortunately, over-exposure to artificial light reduces our body’s endogenous production of melatonin.
Due to that, melatonin supplements have become super popular in recent times. However, giving yourself a large dose of melatonin is not quite the same as how your body does it – not the same amount, timing etc. I have use melatonin supplements on many occasions, so don’t stress, but use caution moving forward, and a low dose.
These large amounts of melatonin (sometimes way above what your body would make) can actually delay or stop ovulation! This can change the timing of your menstrual cycle, or stop it altogether, which causes infertility.
This doesn’t only apply to the ladies by the way. Guys listen up! There is also evidence suggesting that melatonin at levels higher than what the body would typically produce can affect sperm formation in men.
On the flip side, low melatonin is linked to lack of ovulation and infertility, even chronic pelvic pain in Endometriosis.
So, I urge you to address that by reducing your light at night. Make your bedroom super dark – light blocking shades or curtains, put tape over the lights on your alarm, TV etc, and stop using your phone and computer late at night. If you have to use either of those at night then get Flux, an app for your phone and computer that will adjust the blue light to a more reddish hue. No kidding, it helps tremendously! Nowadays phones and computers have this setting as well, so make sure to turn it on. It’s called Nightshift on Apple. Or get your hands on a pair of sexy blue blocking shades from Swanwick Sleep! They are even better than an app on your phone and computer.
And for the curve ball – when melatonin is used properly, it can have positive effects on fertility. When it comes to hormones, too much can block production and the right amount can help production.
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4209073/ – many references to melatonin’s effect on the menstrual cycle.
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23602498 – melatonin and endometriosis
Can oral health and gum disease affect ovulation?
A study done in 2011 found that women with gum disease took on average two months longer to conceive than women without gum disease (7 months instead of 5 months). 
Even more interesting was this finding: “Non-Caucasian women appeared to be the group most affected. They were likely to take more than 12 months to become pregnant if they had gum disease.”
Here’s why…gum disease starts with plaque that then turns into tartar if you aren’t following a good dental protocol.
Check out my post on the exact protocol I used to heal my own serious gum issues. Trust me, I have sooo been there!
This tartar can turn into gingivitis if left too long which is characterized by bleeding gums and inflammation. Eventually gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease where the gums begin pulling away from the teeth. Bacteria and toxins get in there and before you know it, your immune system is responding to the trouble in your mouth. Many people end up with a chronic inflammatory response in their mouths, if they don’t address the problem.
These bacteria and toxins can then get into the bloodstream, which leads to further inflammation in your body. This inflammation is what researchers believe is connected to infertility and miscarriage.
Additionally, research shows that the bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums can actually target the fetus, potentially leading to premature labor and low-birth-weight babies. 
There is even a connection between periodontal disease and endometriosis ladies. 
If you are pregnant, studies also show that you can improve chances of having a health pregnancy and delivery if you treat your periodontal disease or gingivitis immediately. 
Do NSAIDS have an affect on ovulation?
This acronym stands for “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”, which include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), and Celebrex which is another kind of NSAID used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.
“NSAIDs prevent the ovarian follicle from rupturing so women who are taking NSAIDs cannot release an ovum to be fertilized. Although “this process is reversible, a woman is not going to get pregnant if she continues to take NSAIDs, and doctors need to advise women to stop taking these drugs if they want to be fertile.” 
This is crazy right?? Who would have thought that popping advil could render you infertile? Luckily this is reversible once you stop taking NSAIDS. Note: Tylenol is not a NSAID.
Do chemicals like BPA affect the reproductive system?
There is now overwhelming evidence that many synthetic chemicals in our environment may interfere with our bodies’ complex and carefully regulated hormonal messenger system.
BPA is one of them. The fact that there are 91 studies and 71 shown effects of BPA is rather frightening, and should be a wake-up call to all of us! We simply cannot ignore the signs anymore.
BPA is a chemical used to make hard plastics. It is typically found in water bottles and in the lining of food cans, but you’ll also find it in plastic flip flops, in the coating of receipts, in the chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning and in the lining of your restaurant to-go containers. Oh and, vibrators!! Uh huh. So make sure to look for safer sex toys.
In a 2010 study, it was found in 95% of random urine samples and the ovarian follicular fluid of the female participants. In this same study, it was discovered that BPA inhibits ovarian follicle growth (where your eggs grow each month), by disrupting the estrogen pathway. FYI: estrogen builds follicles in the first half of our cycle, so basically BPA cuts off the ovary’s supply 
Unfortunately, it is also implicated in PCOS, endometrial disorders, increased implantation failure, miscarriage, and preterm birth.  Please please please, limit your interaction with plastics as much as you can.
How low thyroid function impacts ovulation:
Yes, a thyroid condition can full on prevent ovulation.
It’s incredible how many lovely ladies come to me with messed up thyroid numbers, but don’t know it because their doctors never caught the problem.
Here’s the flowdown (like that?):
What most women don’t know (and are often not told) is that anovulation, low sex drive, PMS, painful periods, excessive menstrual bleeding and amenorrhea can all be caused by an underactive or overactive thyroid.
The most important fact is that thyroid hormone helps FSH do it’s job – stimulating the follicles in your ovaries – and helps with corpus luteum formation. We need adequate T3 circulating throughout our bodies for ovulation to occur. What’s even more interesting is that luteal phase defect and low progesterone were improved with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.  I like the natural ways of raising T3, but the hormone replacement clearly demonstrates that T3 is certainly a necessity in this whole process.
Here’s a fascinating fact on why thyroid health is soooo crucial for women, especially those trying to pregnant: If your thyroid is underactive, in other words, you are hypothyroid, your basal body temperature is likely lower than it should be. The rapidly dividing cells in a little embryo however, require a specific temperature range for that division to take place. So if your temperature is too low, the embryo may be unable to continue to grow. This increases the risk of early miscarriage.
Final crazy thyroid fact: 15 to 20% of people with depression are low in thyroid hormones. Sadly, conventional thyroid tests typically come back normal and most women with an underactive thyroid are usually told to see a psychologist and get a prescription for an antidepressant.
To get a proper thyroid panel, I recommend taking this at home test by Lets Get Checked: (use code Hormones20 to get 20% off the test)
Thyroid Antibody Test
This thyroid antibody test will provide a complete picture of how your thyroid is performing.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Free Thyroxine (FT4)
- Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGAB)
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO/TPEX)
Alright kids, that sums up another super loooong blog post! As always, I welcome your comments and feedback below. Thrilled that you are here on my site, reading my stuff.
23 thoughts on “5 surprising things that can stop ovulation & impair fertility”
Hi, I really appreciate this article but was wonder if you have ever heard of opiate abuse causing a woman to stop ovulating. I was addicted to opiates for 9 years and just recently saw my OB-GYN, She mentioned that prolonged opiate use can stop ovulation. Since then I have been thinking a million things, the one thing I would love to find the answer to is …If my eggs haven’t been released for years, are they still viable? I’m 35 and wondering if I have the same amount of eggs I would have had when I was younger. I also wonder what condition they would be in? I doubt using drugs have had any thing other than a bad effect on my reproductive system but if the eggs weren’t released, aren’t they still in there? If you have any information on this I would really appreciate your help. If not, maybe you can point me to someone who would know. Considering the high rate of opiate addiction in our country right now, I believe this may be of interest to a lot of women, especially those of us who are in recovery.
Nicole my name is Anjali and I have been trying to conceive for two months now. My problem is I end up taking immense stress which results in me having irregular periods. And I think this month I have skipped my ovulation and periods due to stress. What can I do to bring back my ovulation on track. I used to have regular periods always until I started trying to conceive and now due to the stress my periods are irregular.
Hi Guys, how come one can get pregnant while she is on a period? I am finding it funny but there could be many biological reasons that may show surprising and unexpected results. Just being curious I was reading on some articles online and found an excellent informative page “Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period” on WhatToExpect. This page is an eye opener and a good read for all.
Hi Nicole! We practice natural family planning and I’ve only ovulated once in 13 months, postpartum. I do have hyperthyroidism which I’m treating but I’ve also been taking 10 mg of melatonin every day to help me sleep. At what point, or how much melatonin inhibits ovulation?
Hie doc. Me and my partner have decided to stop having children due to financial problems we both dont work .we have one lovely daughter and she is 3 . We are here down in South Africa . Wchich is the cheaper and easier way to stop ovulation without operation
Am new here…me and my husband are trying to start our family, for last few months I have started tracking my dates..and tracking when I start ovulating… As per whattoexpect.com – Many women use ovulation predictor kits, which identify the date of ovulation 12 to 24 hours in advance by looking at levels of luteinizing hormone, or LH, the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation. Is any one using predictor kit ???
Re: the melatonin issue, I’ve been taking a product called OvaBoost from r many years, which has melatonin in it. Should I be concerned that a product which is intended to help with ovulation contains melatonin? I also take a product called Ancient Minerals, which is a magnesium lotion that has some melatonin in it. I may take either product separately or jointly depending on how bad my insomnia is. What are your thoughts?
Thanks so much!
Hey Stephanie, my goal with clients is always to figure out the root cause of your symptoms. So for you, I’d want to know what is causing insomnia in the first place….What is up with your circadian rhythm – is melatonin and cortisol off? Is your blood sugar imbalanced? Are you lacking certain nutrients? Are you exposed to too much blue light and stimulation at night? The list goes on and on. Melatonin is a powerful hormone, and I do not personally use it unless I am doing transatlantic travel or cross country travel and need to readjust to time zones. Hope this helps!
Comment…I had been seeing my ovulation since but I did not see it this month, I don’t know what is Wrong With me
Great article!! What are the natural ways you use to raise T3? I have history of low progesterone and digestive challenges. I’m gluten intolerant and must stay away from several grains due to autoimmunity.
Hi Emily, you can take a look at my posts on thyroid health.
If you want more, I encourage you to check out my Fix Your Period Program where I dedicate a whole module to thyroid health and how to improve your thyroid function. I also have modules on gut health and how to raise progesterone naturally.
You can see the program here: https://nicolejardim.com/programs/
Just choose Track 1 or 2 based on the symptoms you are currently experiencing.
Hope this helps! xo
Dear Nicole. Thank you for this very informative post. The contribution of all factors apart from thyroid to infertility was new to me so I learnt a lot! I had my thyroid hormones tested as my extremities are almost always cold and get tired quickly and been trying for pregnancy for a few years with no success. I also have severe endometriosis. However, the result of my thyroid hormone test came normal. You mentioned that conventional thyroid tests typically come back normal even if there is a problem. I am concerned that I might have thyroid problem which was not detected. Could you please share the test that you recommend as the most thorough for thyroid checking? Thank you very much
Hi Maria, you can do a full thyroid panel through your doctor and then take a look at this post I wrote to see the functional ranges for your lab results: https://nicolejardim.com/demystifying-the-thyroid/
The test should include TSH, free T3, free T4, TPO (thyroid peroxidase), and TG (thyroglobulin antibodies), and reverse T3. Hope this helps! xx
Hello, this is gold! I’ve been also very concerned about my mouth health and find it harder (after 30) to keep it healthy than before. Can this be the age?
Anyway. I had an IVF treatment last year and not only it ended in a miscarriage, apparently it also hit my thyroid function and sent it rocketing up. Half a year after that I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) and was prescribed thyroid aid medicine. (One to regulate my thyroid and another to compensate the missing hormone). I noticed immediately that it impacted my period: Even when I got less days in between periods, I had heavier flow. Right now I have it strictly forbidden to try to get pregnant after the treatment is over and they had offered me to get the surgery to have my thyroid gland removed. But it just doesn’t feel right.
Nicole, is there any other tips I can get to go back to my normal thyroid balance without medicines and without the surgery? I’m reading what Jimena posted and it really gives me hope! <3
Hi Yen, I am so sorry to hear you’ve been through so much with your health. There is a lot you can do. I think your very best bet is to seek out a functional doctor or health practitioner who can help you figure out why your’re dealing with infertility in the first place and also help you get to the root cause of your thyroid problems. I fully believe that there is a way to address your major health concerns from a more holistic standpoint. Sending a big hug. xoxo
Hi Nicole,my name is mirriam and im from Zambia.. i have struggled with hypertension right after i gave birth to my first baby who is now almost 4 years old. My blood pressure went back to normal after i stopped breastfeeding but got pregnant again after 2years with my second born who is now 1 year 1 .my concern is that i was told at the hospital that a pregnancy would be a risky to my health but i would love a third baby..is it possible to control my blood pressure enough to get my last born? Thank you.
Thanks for this post Nicole. I really can’t believe all the places BPA is hiding! I thought just switching to glass bottles would be good enough but I just tossed all plastic flip flops and I’ve been handling my receipts differently thanks to your timely advice =) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Holistic dental care : the complete guide to healthy teeth and gums by
Nadine Artemis is probably the Best book out there on Dental Care. 😉
You are soooo welcome Nina!! Seriously, BPA is in everything, it’s crazy. Good for you for being so proactive with it! 🙂 Also, Nadine’s book is incredible. I might give her products another try once the ones I’m using run out. Big hugs!!!! <3 <3
I am currently obsessed with dental health after pregnancy left my own mouth pretty messed up. Amazing that the health of your teeth and gums can impact ovulation!
Hey there! Have you read:
Holistic dental care : the complete guide to healthy teeth and gums by Nadine Artemis?
I’ve also been obsessed with Holistic dental care for a few months now 😉
No kidding Amanda! I was pretty blown away in doing research for this! I second what Nina said – Nadine’s book is an excellent resource. 🙂
This information is super valuable. I was taking NSAIDs for many years to control my PMS, and I am convinced that it wrecked a few functions in my body including my digestion. Thankfully now I know better and I don’t take any pharmaceutical drugs. Changes in diet, lifestyle and mindset are much more efficient at restoring balance in the body. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at a time in my life when I had very high levels of stress, and was dealing with depression. What doctors don’t tell you is that the stress is what is causing the downregulation of the thyroid in a lot of cases, mine for sure. One day I realized that my thyroid medication was giving me very serious side effects, and I decided to discontinue it. I worked on reducing my stress, healing my relationship with my body, stopped dieting, healed my digestion and now my Thyroid works normally on its own!
Always question your doctor when they tell you that you have to take thyroid medication for life!
Jimena, thanks so much for sharing your story and how you managed to turn your health around by empowering yourself with knowledge. You’re awesome! xoxo