Those of you who have been on my webinars will know this is kind of a trick question, because the definition of a period means you have to have ovulated. However, there are so many times you can have a flow of blood that doesn't occur after ovulation.
I have so many clients say to me, "I know I ovulate because I have a period" but when I start them off charting, it turns out they are not actually ovulating at all.
So What Is Going On?
If you aren't ovulating, but you are producing some kind of oestrogen, you will get some build up of endometrium (womb lining). However, that in itself doesn't mean you will get a successful ovulation. It just means you are getting some build up of endometrium.
If your oestrogen levels drop, maybe due to stress terminating the cycle, or a withdrawal from hormonal medication, or hormonal imbalances such as PCOS, then the lining will fall away too creating a bleed, that can often look like a period.
Also, if you produce too much oestrogen or have a highly oestrogenic condition such as endometriosis or fibroids, you can build up too much lining, and the excess, once it reaches a certain point, drops away causing a bleed.
These bleeds are not a sign of a healthy fertile system.
How Can You Tell Whether You Are Ovulating Or Not?
There are two definitive ways to tell whether or not you have ovulated. You can only tell you have ovulated because there is a spike in progesterone. We can't measure oestrogenic signs as we have oestrogen in our follicular (egg growing before ovulation) and our luteal phase (between ovulation and menstruation).
The only ways to measure progesterone effectively is a blood test known as the day 21 blood test or through a rise in basal body temperature (BBT), which obviously requires that you have some knowledge of charting your cycle.
Want To Learn More?
I teach Natural Family Planning (NFP) via Skype and webinars, if you are on my mailing list you will find out when they are on. You can find out a bit more about phases of the cycle in the ovulation toolkit you get when you sign up to my e-mail list.
Read more about Is Every Cycle Ovulatory?
Read more about What Is A Real Period?
Read more about Why I don't Recommend Using OPKs
Learn more about your menstrual cycle with my cycle charting course.