Ovulation – all you wanted to know

Ovulation – all you wanted to know

So, you and your partner have decided to start a family, add a little person to your life; embrace sleepless nights, smelly nappies, and tons and tons of memorable moments? smiley.

If you are trying to get pregnant, you should start with a knowledge of the reproductive cycle. This will help you understand the most optimum time for conception. Understanding ovulation will help you know when you are most fertile thereby increasing the chances of conception.

What is Ovulation?

Every month, toward the end of the fertile time between a woman’s periods, the ovaries release one or more eggs from the 15-20 that have matured. The ripest eggs are pushed out of the ovaries and then travel down the fallopian tube that are connected to the uterus. Any one of the ovaries will release an egg at any given time.

Ovulation can be divided into two parts – Follicular phase and Luteal phase.

The Follicular phase begins on the first day of the last menstrual cycle and can last anywhere between 7 to 40 days. The second phase or the Luteal phase begins on the day of ovulations and lasts until the next menstrual cycle begins, i.e. around 12-16 days from the day of ovulation.

It’s all about timing

On its way after leaving the ovaries, the egg will either meet a sperm in the fallopian tube and the fertilized egg will then travel to the uterus which has thickened to support the egg, or, if the egg encounters no sperm, it will be shed along with the uterine lining during a woman’s menstruation. It is important to remember that the egg survives for around 24 hours after it has been released, so there is a narrow window of time for conception to occur. A sperm, on the other hand, can survive for up to 7 days in the vagina, uterus, or the fallopian tube. So you have around six days ahead of your ovulation date to prepare for conception. So, if you time your sex sessions with the fertile window, your chances of getting pregnant will increase

Tracing ovulation

Using simple methods and tools, you can easily track when you are ovulating. One simple method is by studying cervical mucous. This is the whitish discharge you will notice in your panties. It will change in quantity and texture as ovulation approaches, signaling an increase in the hormone estrogen in the body. When it starts resembling raw egg white, you are at your most fertile. This cervical mucous protects and nourishes the sperm and also helps it travel faster through the fallopian tube. A basal thermometer, fertility monitors, and ovulation kits can also help you keep track of your most fertile days. An understanding of your ovulation will give you a better knowledge of your body. For women wanting to get pregnant, it will help them chart out a timetable for days best suited for conception, and for women trying to avoid pregnancy, it will show them which days they should take extra precautions between the sheets. In short, it will give women a better control over their reproductive health (Use our free ovulation calculator to measure your fertile window)