When an egg, or ovum, is released from an ovarian follicle, this is the part of a female’s menstrual cycle known as ovulation. The egg will then travel down the fallopian tube where it could become fertilized by a sperm. To know when a woman will be most fertile, the process of ovulation must be understood.
This video will give you an overview of ovulation.
What Is Ovulation?
Usually around day 14 of a 28 day menstrual cycle, your ovary releases an egg and this is known as ovulation. After being released, the egg can be fertilized for 12 – 48 hours before it begins to dissolve. It is during this time that you are most fertile
Phases of Ovulation
Actually, the entire ovulation is defined by a period of elevated hormones during the menstruation, which can be informally divided into 3 phases.
This is known as the follicular phase. During this phase, the layer of cells around the ovum starts to become more mucous-like and grows while the lining of the uterus starts to get thicker.
During the ovulation phase, enzymes are released that form a hole that will be used by the egg to exit the follicle. The egg then enters the fallopian tube and begins the period of fertility that can lasts 24 to 48 hours.
When a hormone called luteinizing hormone is released, the luteal phase begins. If the egg is fertilized, it will attach to the lining of the womb, while unfertilized eggs begin to dissolve. The uterus lining starts to break down in preparation of leaving the body during your period.
When does Ovulation Occur?
On average, ovulation happens about 14 days after the beginning of your menstrual cycle. To determine when ovulation is likely to occur, subtract the length of your luteal phase from how long your cycle is. The exact day of ovulation cannot be determined, as many things can cause it to be delayed. Stress, being sick, your diet and more exercise can all cause a delay in the release of an egg.
How Does Ovulation Determine the Fertile Days?
Since sperm can live up to 5 days, your most fertile period begins four to five days before ovulation occurs and ends one or two days after when the egg begins to dissolve. The most fertile time would be the day before ovulation and the day of ovulation. Knowing when you are most fertile can help prevent unwanted pregnancies or help you plan when it will be easiest for you to conceive. You can use a calendar to help you determine when ovulation may occur and when you are most fertile. Simply mark the first day of your last period and the length of your menstrual cycle. Also write down the length of your luteal phase. Using this information, the ovulation calendar will show you the most likely times you will be fertile.
Can Ovulation Be Detected?
Ovulation can be detected by many things. The amount of cervical mucus increases during ovulation and gets thicker because of higher estrogen levels. Your body temperature may also increase up to a degree when you are ovulating because of the hormone progesterone. Some women believe they can feel when ovulation happens. They say they feel achy in their middle. Kits can also be purchased to help you detect when ovulation occurs.
Can Ovulation Occur Without Having a Period?
For various reasons, some women do not have periods. If a woman is breastfeeding or in perimenopause, or has an extremely low body weight, she may not have a period every month. This can make it really hard to know when ovulation occurs, so if you want to prevent pregnancy, always use some type of birth control. If you want to get pregnant, you will need to keep a chart of body temperatures and note changes in the cervical fluid.
What Is an Anovulatory Cycle?
An anovulatory cycle is when a woman does not ovulate but has bleeding she mistakenly believes is a period. Often, this bleeding occurs when the buildup of the uterine lining is no longer sustainable. Another reason bleeding could occur is if a drop in estrogen levels happens.