The root cause behind almost all the bodily changes that a woman goes through is ovulation. Matters pertaining to pregnancy, menstruation, and fertility can all be traced back to ovulation making it an important process to understand. That being said grasping exactly how ovulation works can be quite tricky and confusing. Here’s a quick look at what ovulation is and a few key points that you should remember.
What is ovulation?
Each month inside your ovaries, a group of eggs starts to grow in small, fluid-filled sacs called follicles (this process usually starts from the first day of your period). Eventually, one of the eggs erupts from the follicle and gets released into a fallopian tube (one of the two tubes that connect your ovaries to your uterus).The egg then travels down a fallopian tube waiting to be fertilized. If the timing is right, sperm may fertilize it on its way to the uterus. If fertilization doesn’t happen within 24 hours of the egg leaving the ovary, the egg dissolves.
A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s cycle normally is between 28-32 days, but some women may have much shorter or much longer cycles.
Ovulation can be calculated by starting with the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) or 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 LMP.
This is what many refer to as the “fertile time” of a woman’s cycle, because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy. Ovulation can occur at various times during a cycle, and may occur on a different day each month.
Facts To Remember
• The average menstrual cycle is 28-32 days. Ovulation usually happens between day 11 and 21 of the cycle.
• An egg lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary
• Normally only one egg is released each time during 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
• A menstrual period can occur even if ovulation has not occurred
• Ovulation can occur even if a menstrual period has not occurred
• If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining
Keep in mind that these facts apply to most women but it is also possible that certain ovulation cycles maybe longer or shorter, to be absolutely sure you can track your ovulating days using ovulation kits. These are kits (similar to pregnancy kits) that can be used at home. They are designed to detect certain hormone levels in your urine to indicate when you are ovulating. This can be very helpful especially when you are trying to conceive.
Doctor by profession, ardent animal lover by choice; she finds writing to be therapeutic. She loves meeting new people, hopes to travel the world and has karaoking with Oprah on top of her bucket list. @kirtana_ponnuswamy