WHAT IS OVULATION? The human body goes through thousands of processes on a daily basis without you even knowing it. It works like a self-sufficient machine and when it has deficiencies it either tries to make up for it or goes ahead to warn you.
The female body has its own processes to contend with and the most important one to every woman of childbearing age is ovulation. Almost every woman goes through this process at a specific time of the month and it influences whether you will get pregnantor not.
Your ovaries have follicles that contain eggs (ova). During every menstrual cycle the FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) causes these follicles to develop further and then the most mature folliclereleases an egg. Ovulation is the process by which an egg is released from one of the ovaries and it is pushed into the fallopian tube. If the egg gets fertilized as it travels through the fallopian tube you are considered pregnant and if it does not you get your period around 2 weeks later.
The follicles in the ovaries produce estrogen as they continue to grow. The high levels of estrogen then cause the LuteinizingHormone (LH) to set off ovulation. LH also rises and is detectable in urine. Once the LH surge occurs, ovulation may occur between 12 and 24 hours later.
When to expect it
This is totally dependent on the length of your cycle. This varies between 23 and 35 days, with a normal cycle being 28 days. Ovulation will usually come halfway into your cycle. For those that know when their next period will be, ovulation occurs 14 days before your period comes.
You may experience some delays in ovulation due to stress, poor eating habits and some medical conditions. There is the assumption that every woman ovulates faithfully every month but it is not true. If there is no mature follicle by the appointed time then there will be no egg to release (known as an ovulatory menstrual cycle). You will still get your period though because the endometrial lining will already have developed.
How do I know?
Your body will give you a few pointers to let you know that you are ovulating. You will notice the following if you pay close attention:
- Your cervical mucus will be clear and like raw egg white.
- Some women experience abdominal pain on one side.
- Your basal body temperature will increase.
- You may feel a little sexier and more appealing than usual
Try our ovulation calculator to help you work out when your fertile window is likely to be.
Find out which are the best sexual positions for baby-making. And talk to others who are hoping to get pregnant.