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Late Ovulation and Pregnancy: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help

On average, a woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days. During that cycle, about 30% of women will ovulate somewhere between days 10 and 17. For some, this window of fertility can be earlier or later than the average. Can you ovulate late and still get pregnant?

The short answer is yes, delayed ovulation can still result in conception. However, it is important to understand the reasons for ovulating late in cycle to help improve the chances of pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about late ovulation and pregnancy and how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help increase your chances of conceiving. 

Late Ovulation and Pregnancy

The good news is that delayed ovulation does not result in infertility. It is possible, however, that late ovulation can impact egg quality and the ability to conceive. Eggs released later in the cycle tend to be lower in quality, and this reduces the chances of pregnancy. 

If the assumption is made that ovulation is happening earlier in the cycle in an attempt to time conception, a pregnancy will be less likely if ovulation is actually happening later into the cycle.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Perspective on Delayed Ovulation

According to TCM, any menstrual cycle disruption is an indication that there is an imbalance somewhere in the body. If Qi, which is the flow of energy, is not in proper balance, this may result in menstrual irregularities. Two main causes of delated ovulation include: Liver Qi Stagnation and Kidney Deficiency.

The proper flow of Qi is managed by the liver. The liver is also responsible for the storage of blood. This means that the liver’s role in the menstrual cycle is an important one. If liver Qi is stagnant, irregular periods or delayed ovulation may result. If there is an excess of liver Qi, this can lead to excess heat in the body. When this occurs, it is likely the result of poorly managed stress or a poor diet.

The kidneys contribute to regulating the menstrual cycle. Kidney deficiencies indicate that insufficient amounts of yin and possibly Qi are being produced. Kidney yang deficiency may lead to coldness and stagnation. If menstrual irregularities are accompanied by sore breasts and bloating, this may mean that some type of kidney deficiency is present and needs to be addressed.

What Causes Late Ovulation?

To understand how to resolve the hormonal imbalance leading to late ovulation and to become pregnant, it is important to know the underlying cause. A variety of factors may come into play. Some examples include:

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS may be one of the reasons for ovulating late in cycle. This is because when there are deficiencies of the liver or kidneys present, it can lead to hormonal imbalance. In the case of PCOS, the overproduction of testosterone levels leads to such imbalances.

Related: How to Get Pregnant with PCOS using Chinese Medicine

Chronic stress

Unmanaged, chronic stress and anger can disrupt the flow of Qi leading to stagnation. If Qi is stagnant, all of the organs that are involved in ovulation can be negatively affected. In response to stress, the body produces the stress hormone cortisol. This increase in cortisol may interfere with estrogen levels. As a result, women may experience delayed ovulation.

Certain medications

Prescription hormones, such as birth control pills or those administered during fertility treatments, will also impact when a woman ovulates. According to TCM, this is because they medications can disrupt the flow of both Qi and blood resulting in blockages and imbalances.

Related: Coming Off The Pill to Get Pregnant


In Chinese medicine, maintaining a balanced and nourishing diet is considered essential for promoting overall health and supporting regular ovulation.

Nourish Blood and Yin: Foods that nourish the blood and yin are often recommended in Chinese medicine to support reproductive health. Include foods such as dark leafy greens, beets, seaweed, black sesame seeds, goji berries, and bone broth in your diet.

Mindful Eating: Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of mindful eating and paying attention to the quality of food, portion sizes, and eating at regular intervals. Avoid overeating and practice moderation.

Manage Blood Sugar: Stable blood sugar levels are considered important for hormonal balance. Those who have impaired glucose tolerance may be at higher risk of PCOS and type II diabetes. Both of these conditions are related to hormonal imbalance. Avoid excessive consumption of refined sugars, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. Instead, opt for whole grains, legumes, and moderate amounts of fruits and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

Support Spleen and Digestion: In TCM, the spleen is responsible for transforming and transporting nutrients, including reproductive hormones. To support the spleen, consume warm, cooked foods and avoid excessive cold or raw foods. Include easily digestible foods such as soups, stews, steamed vegetables, whole grains, and cooked fruits.

It’s important to remember that these dietary recommendations are general guidelines and should be adapted to your individual needs and any underlying health conditions. Consulting with our qualified practitioner of Chinese medicine who specializes in fertility and reproductive health can provide personalized guidance. 

Lifestyle changes: Chronic stress can disrupt hormonal balance and interfere with regular ovulation. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, or any other relaxation techniques that you find beneficial.

Getting sufficient rest and quality sleep is crucial for hormonal regulation and overall well-being. Gentle exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, or qigong can help improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and support hormonal balance.


Can you ovulate late and still get pregnant? The good news is that the answer is yes. Struggling to conceive can be a difficult and stressful time, and it is important to understand what causes late ovulation. Thankfully, practitioners of TCM have a long and proven history of restoring balance to the body to better prepare women for conception.

Whether the cause is PCOS, prescription hormones, or high levels of stress, TCM offers natural, affordable options that are both safe and effective. Treatment with acupuncture can help to improve blood flow while adding Chinese medicinal herbs will provide the body with needed nourishment.

Women are encouraged to reduce their intake of sweets while also taking care to manage stress. Once these reasons for ovulating late in cycle are addressed, the body will be well-prepared to conceive. To learn more about delayed ovulation and conception, speak to a TCM practitioner about your options.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with late ovulation and pregnancy, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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