Ovulation is very important period of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation women cannot get pregnant and without knowing very well about your ovulation, you can get pregnant unexpectedly and face a problem with unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
In general menstrual cycle normally is between 28-32 days, but some women may have much shorter cycles or much longer ones. First day of the period should be considered as DAY ONE – all calculations should be done accordingly. Every month female body prepares itself for a pregnancy and each month females release an egg from ovum. Release of ovum occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the Fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized. It usually happens mid-cycle – average on Day 14. The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for a fertilized egg. The release of eggs usually alternates, with one of your ovaries releasing an egg one month and the other the next and the egg then travels down your Fallopian tube to the womb. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm it’s then shed with your womb lining during your period.
Ovulation is fully controlled by female hormones. When the menstrual cycle begins, the level of estrogens is low. The hypothalamus (responsible for maintaining hormone levels) sends out a message to the pituitary gland which then sends out the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that triggers the body to start the process of maturing eggs for ovulation. This FSH triggers few follicles to develop into mature eggs. One of these will develop into the so called “dominant follicle” which will release a mature egg and the others will disintegrate. High levels of oestrogens are produced at this time that triggers a release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH), causing the mature egg to burst from the follicle – that is ovulation. Normally, only one egg will be large enough to burst through the follicle during ovulation but occasionally two will, which is how non-identical twins are conceived.
On average the ovulation can be calculated from the DAY ONE and adding 14 days. At the same time the calculation could be done by calculating 12-16 days from the next expected period. Most women ovulate anywhere between Day 11 – Day 21 of their cycle, counting from the first day of the last period – these days are most fertile days.
Some girls and women are keeping asking if it is possible to feel the release of ovum. In some cases it is possible. If you “understand your body” and if you feel differences, you should be able to tell when you had your ovulation. The key is to look out for changes in your cervical secretions. Immediately after period you can feel quite dry for a day or so and then get a sticky, whitish type of secretion. Then, when you start to ovulate the secretion from your vagina will change to a clear, sticky, mucus- like discharge. It’s wettish and stretchy “like raw egg white”, and normally quite noticeable, so start looking out for it. This is a sure sign you are ovulating.
It is also possible to check your ovulation day by using ovulation calculator. Some women prefer the ovulation kits which work by testing your urine for a hormone surge which occurs just before ovulation. By the time you get the result, the window of opportunity may have passed. Something called Basal body temperature (BBT) measurements used to be used but rely on the fact that your body temperature increases a very small amount after ovulation.
Again, you may have already ovulated by the time you get this information, so it’s too late to conceive.
Interesting Facts about OVULATION:
- An egg lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary
- Normally only one egg is released each time of ovulation
- Ovulation can be affected by stress, illness or disruption of normal routines
- Some women may experience some light blood spotting during ovulation
- Implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6-12 days after ovulation
- Each woman is born with millions of immature eggs that are awaiting ovulation to begin. Every baby girl is born with all her eggs intact in her ovaries, around 300,000 to 400,000. When she reaches puberty an egg will be released each month
- The quantity and quality of your eggs decline with age. Women in their 20s generally have good quality eggs, but after 35 years the quality decreases
- A menstrual period can occur even if ovulation has not occurred
- Ovulation can occur even if a menstrual period has not occurred
- Some women can feel a bit of pain or aching near the ovaries during ovulation called mittelschmerz, which means “middle pain” in German
- If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining
- 4 out of 10 healthy couples in their thirties will take more than 12 months to conceive
Soon after your menstrual cycle, you might notice a sticky or “tacky” vaginal secretion.
Immediately prior to ovulation, most women usually detect increased vaginal secretions that are wet and slippery (similar to the consistency of raw egg white). Generally, your body produces the greatest amount of this type of vaginal discharge is on the day of ovulation.
Immediately following the day of release of ovum, your vaginal discharge gradually becomes thicker in consistency, and less is secreted.
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