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Ovulation is a process which happens usually once in every menstrual cycle in which hormone changes and ovaries are triggered to release an egg. A woman can only become pregnant if a sperm fertilizes an egg. The time when women usually ovulate is 12 to 16 days before her next period starts. The eggs which are contained in women ovaries out of multiple eggs one of the eggs grow and mature in the first part of each menstrual cycle.
The time when women approach ovulation her body starts producing an increased amount of hormone called estrogen. This hormone causes the lining of women uterus to thicken and help to create a sperm friendly environment. These high levels of estrogen will trigger a sudden increase in another hormone which is known as luteinizing hormone (LH). The LH surge causes the release of the mature egg from the woman ovary and this entire procedure is known as ovulation. The ovulation occurs usually after 24 to 36 hours of the LH surge and this is the reason that the LH surge is a good predictor of peak fertility. The egg of the woman can only be fertilized for up to 24 hours after ovulation, however, if it is not fertilized after 24 hours of ovulation then the lining of the womb is shed which means the mature egg is lost and women period begins. Once the period begins women need to wait for the next menstrual cycle and repeat the process again.
Things you need to know about your ovulation cycle
The followings are the several things which you should know about your ovulation cycle and these are:
a) What happens at the time you ovulate?
At the time of your ovulation each month one of your ovaries will release a mature egg, which will travel into one of the woman’s fallopian tubes. The uterus lining is thick in case the egg is fertilized. The fertilized egg then will travel down to the women uterus and settles in the rich lining. The egg will only survive for 12 to 24 hours. If the women egg is not fertilized then the egg will be lost and women periods will start.
b) What are the most fertile days?
According to the study, it has been found that most of the women are most fertile in the first five days before ovulation and on ovulation day itself. There are many cases where the cycle lengths vary and ovulation occurs 14 days prior to the women next period begins. It is difficult to know exactly when the egg will be released; however, the men sperm can stick around for up to seven days after you have sex and this is the best time for you to conceive. Having regular sex from Day 11 to Day 16 where you need to count the first day of your period as Day 1.
c) How women can track their ovulation time?
The fertility experts at Fertility Center Nepal suggest the best way for the women to confirm when she ovulates is with an ultrasound in the hospital or clinic, or also they can track their ovulation time with hormonal blood tests at home.
• Basal body temperature (BBT) charting: With the help of basal thermometer women can track her each morning throughout her cycle to record its changes. Ovulation is confirmed after the women temperature has stayed elevated from her baseline for three days.
• Ovulation predictor kits (OPK): These kits are easily available over-the-counter (OTC) at any drugstore. The ovulation predictor kit will detect the presence of LH in the women urine and you will be able to ovulate within the next couple of days after the result line is as dark as the control.
• Fertility monitors: These are also easily available over-the-counter (OTC), however, they are little expensive as compared to ovulation predictor kit. The fertility monitors are best because with this women can track two hormones i.e. estrogen and LH which help her to identify the six days of her fertile window.
d) What if the women are not ovulating regularly?
If the women track her ovulation from one month to the next month and she will be able to notice that either she is not ovulating regularly or in some cases, they are not ovulating at all. This is a time when she needs to speak to her fertility specialist and start with the treatment.
Although there are certain things like stress or improper diet which can also impact the exact day of ovulation from month to month or there can be medical conditions as well like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or amenorrhea that may make woman’s ovulation irregular or stop completely.
These are the conditions which may also cause other symptoms related to hormonal imbalances which include excess facial or body hair, acne, and even infertility.
e) Are women are able to get pregnant when they are on their period?
Yes, there are some cases where women are able to get pregnant even when they have on their period. It has been found that the men sperm can live in the women fallopian tubes for five or six days. If you are a woman with a short cycle say around 22 days instead of 28 days or you have long periods and you did sex on the last day of your periods in such cases, the sperm could survive until the women egg is released during her ovulation. The fertility experts at the Fertility Center Nepal says that it is important to note that there are cases where some women have bleeding in their mid-cycle and they mistakenly think that it’s their period. You should keep in mind that spotting and ovulation can happen at the same time. Also, keep in mind that if you are off from birth control pills after being on hormonal contraceptives for many years then it will take a while for your natural cycle to regulate as normal.