Ovulation and ovulation symptoms play an important part in the intricate system that supplies your body with the correct chemical messages for overall wellness.
Your body has two major communication systems, which it uses to deliver messages so it can be running in tip-top shape:
1) through the spine and nerves that make up your central nervous system and
2) through the cyclical release of hormones through your endocrine system.
How Does Ovulation Work?
Simply put, ovulation is part of that cyclical pattern release of hormones—think estrogen and progesterone!
Without ovulation naturally occurring, your body does not get the correct messages to keep up with the delicate balance of hormones we need to feel our absolute best.
To understand this further, we have to take a step back to look at the female menstrual cycle. For these hormones to be created, it all starts with your brain! Your hypothalamus sends signals to your pituitary to release FSH and LH. FSH hormones stimulate for immature follicles to be released around the time of your period.
As these follicles mature, they ramp up estrogen production. This stimulates endometrial tissue growth and triggers the LH hormone to stimulate for one lucky “queen egg” to be released. Via ovulation, your body will then ramp up progesterone levels.
Why Does Ovulation Matter if I’m Not Trying to Get Pregnant?
Although these steps are all critical for fertility, these cues actually are necessary to continue the cyclical menstrual cycle that supplies our body with the necessary levels of estrogen and progesterone—even if you’re not trying to get pregnant. This is why if ovulation is not occurring, a woman may start to notice irregular cycles, have routine missing periods, and start to notice unwanted symptoms such as weight changes, acne, brain fog, poor sleep, fatigue, vaginal dryness, and more.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female hormones you hear about (and we talk about). Both of them are impacted by ovulation and can contribute to ovulation symptoms and other cycle issues if they’re out of balance. Let’s dive deeper into each:
Estrogen. Although estrogen does get a bad wrap on social media, especially when referred to in “estrogen dominant” scenarios, estrogen is critical in preserving bone strength, regulating cholesterol production in the liver, maintaining body temperature, and supplying necessary hormones for functions of tissues such as the brain, cardiovascular system, skin, mood, and more. You’ll notice issues with these symptoms if you’re not ovulating properly.
Progesterone. It is directly affected by ovulation. Without ovulation, progesterone is significantly reduced in quantity. Progesterone supports sleep, healthy weight by supporting fat metabolism and its use for energy, stabilize mood, and also protects some of the same tissues that estrogen does when both estrogen and progesterone ratios are balanced.
Basically, we want all your body’s systems operating at full and complete function in order to keep your body in balance and prevent complications or disease. This applies to ovulation too—and why it’s important that your body is still ovulating, even if you’re not trying to get pregnant.
Interested in more info about hormones? Check out our full collection of doctor-written content.
Dr. Danielle Vogler-Bos is a Naturopathic Doctor, registered and licensed in both Minnesota and Arizona. Her passion is educating and empowering her patients to take back their health, partnering with them to find the root cause of their struggles, and helping them feel better, faster. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, Dr. Vogler-Bos earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ.
During her clinical training, Dr. Vogler-Bos completed a rigorous internship gaining experience in the diagnosis and treatment of hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, and adrenal fatigue using both traditional naturopathic medicine and bio-identical hormone therapies.