Ovulation and Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

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Update Date 08/06/2020 . 4 mins read
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Whether you are trying to get pregnant or you want to avoid becoming pregnant, knowing more about how your body works and when you ovulate matters. The more that you know about facts about ovulation, the better knowledge you have on that you can make an informed decision about your body and your ovulation period. 

Important Facts About Ovulation

What is ovulation?

Ovulation happens when a woman’s body releases an egg from her ovaries and then it travels to the fallopian tube where it waits to be fertilized by a sperm cell. When fertilization happens, a baby is conceived. When fertilization does not happen, a woman’s monthly cycle will continue to progress. 

Ovulation normally happens for just one day and occurs in the middle of a woman’s monthly cycle. This happens around two weeks before the end of her monthly cycle. One of the most important facts about ovulation to note is that it varies from woman to woman. There is no set pattern. 

Facts About Ovulation: What Factors Can Affect Ovulation?

A woman is normally born with millions of immature eggs that live in a sac called follicles inside your ovaries. These eggs are waiting for ovulation to begin. Follicles near the right conditions to release the egg such as a good environment and great health. They undergo incredible changes leading up to ovulation. It develops many parts and layers, 

Usually, one egg is released each time of ovulation. However, ovulation may be affected or disrupted by stress or illness. This can change the length of your monthly cycle or delay the beginning of your next cycle. 

facts about ovulation

Symptoms of Ovulation

Not all women experience symptoms when they ovulate but for those who do, here are some signs that you may be ovulating: 

  • Vaginal discharge that is clear and stretchy 
  • Tenderness in the breast area 
  • Increase in libido or desire for sexual intercourse
  • Light bleeding or spotting
  • Small increase in your basal body temperature 
  • Mittelschmerz or ovary pain which is normally felt on the side of the abdomen 

You know your body best. And when you learn to observe the different signs and cues, you will have a fair idea of when you are ovulating. Remember though that only a doctor can really tell if and when you are ovulating. 

What is a Fertile Window?

Most women are able to conceive for only 5 – 6 days out of every month. Since ovulation happens only once a month, and a mature egg stays alive for only 12 – 24 hours, it is important to listen to your body if you are trying to conceive. This way, you can pre-plan your sexual intercourse with your partner to maximize the chances of becoming pregnant. 

Since a sperm can live up to 5 days inside a woman’s body, you can actually have sex before you ovulate and if it’s within the 5 day timeframe that a sperm is inside your body, you may become pregnant. 

Ovulation Calculator

Facts About Ovulation: 3 Phases

There are 3 phases to the ovulation process. This is defined by the period of elevated hormones during the monthly cycle: 

  1. Peri-ovulatory Phase – the uterus lining starts to thicken. Cells around the ovum becomes more mucus-like and expand.
  2. Ovulatory Phase – this is when ovulation or fertility actually happens. It lasts for 24 – 48 hours. The ovum uses the stigma, which has been secreted by enzymes, and then moves the stigma to move into the fallopian tube.
  3. Post-ovulatory Phase – if the egg is fertilized, it will be implanted into the womb and if the egg is not fertilized, it will dissolve within 24 hours. When conception is not made, the lining of the uterus also breaks down and prepares to leave the body via the menstrual cycle.

Disorders Relating to Ovulation 

When there are problems with ovulation, infertility may happen. This may not always be the case and there are treatments available. One of the most common problems is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. PCOS makes conceiving more challenging for most women. This due to the enlarged ovaries that are often filled with small, fluid-filled cysts. 

Other disorders of the ovaries are: 

  • Premature ovarian insufficiency where egg production is stopped prematurely due to a drop in estrogen levels.
  • Hyperprolactinemia is when a woman produces excessive amounts of prolactin which lowers estrogen production.
  • Hypothalamic dysfunction happens when the hormones that stimulate ovulation are disrupted.

The Ovulation Calendar 

Knowing when you are ovulating or having a fair idea of when your fertile window may be can help you conceive if this is what you are after and help you avoid pregnancy if that is what you prefer. Knowing how your body works, the signs to look for, can up the chance of pregnancy or minimize it, depending on your actions. 

For the average woman, a monthly cycle lasts 28 days. The fertile window lasts 6 days in the middle of the cycle. This is normally two weeks before the end of your monthly cycle. Knowing this is not a guarantee however that you will get pregnant if you had unprotected sex on your fertile window days. This is simply an estimate and to give you an idea of when the possible best time is. 

Key Takeaways

The more that you know about how your body works and reacts to your ovulation, the better control that you can have over your body and your cycle.

Knowing the symptoms can help you identify when you are ovulating and knowing these allows you to make the decision if you want to conceive or if you would like to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy.

What matters is that you know how your own ovulation works and if there are any concerns, always consult your doctor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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