What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the name of the process in woman that happens once in every menstrual cycle when hormone changes trigger an ovary to release an egg. Ovulation usually happens 12 to 16 days before your next period starts.
- The eggs are contained in your ovaries. During the first part of each menstrual cycle, one of the eggs is being grown and matured.
- During Ovulation body produces increasing amounts of a hormone called estrogen, which causes the lining of your uterus to thicken and helps create a sperm friendly environment.
- High estrogen levels in the body trigger a sudden increase in another hormone called LH (luteinising hormone). This hrmone causes the release of the mature egg from the ovary – this is ovulation.
- Ovulation normally occurs 24 to 36 hours after the LH surge, which is why the LH surge is a good predictor for peak fertility.
The egg can only be fertilised for up to 24 hours after ovulation. If it isn’t fertilised the lining of the womb is shed and your period begins. This marks the start of the next menstrual cycle.
An egg only survives for up to 24 hours but sperm can remain active for up to five days. It may therefore be surprising to learn that a couple can conceive through sexual intercourse four to five days before the egg is released.
How to Know When You Are Most Fertile:
Here we are explaining certain methods by which couples may estimate the fertile period of woman:
Using An Ovulation Calendar
- The first day of a menstruation cycle is considered as day 1.
- Usually on day 14, the egg is released and is waiting for the sperm to fertilize it.
- The egg has a lifespan of just 12 to 24 hours whereas a sperm can last for about 72 hours in a woman.
- Sex on day 12 and day 16 is important as it is the time that the woman has the highest chances to get pregnant.
Cervix Mucous Method
- The cervical mucous appears clear, stretchy and like egg white in consistency during ovulation.
- There are days when the cervix is dry, days when the mucous is sticky and cloudy, but most favorable are days when it is wet, when the mucous is clear and stretchy.
Basal Temperature Measurement
- The temperature of a woman rises by 0.5 to 1.5 degrees during ovulation.
- A basal body temperature is recorded each day of a month for a certain period to determine when the womans most fertile period is.
Physical Examination Of The Cervix
- Some couples examine the cervix physically, as the cervix appears to be open during ovulation and closed at other times.
Some Physical Signs Also Indicating Ovulation
- Certain women have a dull ache in the lower abdomen during ovulation which may last just a few seconds to a few hours. This may be an excellent clue to determining the womans most fertile period.
- There are also factors that affect fertility such as obesity, health of the couple, the stress that they may have etc.
- When couples figure out the fertile period of the woman, they may go ahead with pre-pregnancy planning and increase the chances of conceiving when they want to. They use this method to not get pregnant during the planning stage.
- Age plays a role in determining the fertile period of the woman, older women are less fertile than younger women. Having an ideal body weight, staying away from teratogens, eating nutritious well balanced meals, adopting life style changes and making love during the fertile period of the woman will definitely increase your chances for a conception.