Q & A – Understanding Ovulation

Q & A – Understanding Ovulation

Q & A – Understanding Ovulation

What Is Ovulation?

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is made available to be fertilized.  Approximately every month an egg will mature within one of your ovaries. As it reaches maturity, the egg is released by the ovary where it enters the fallopian tube to make its way towards waiting for sperm and the uterus.

The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for the fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining, as well as blood, will be shed.  The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation.

Key Facts Of Ovulation:

*An egg lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary.
*Normally only one egg is released each time of ovulation
*Ovulation can be affected by stress, illness or disruption of normal routines.
*Some women may experience some light blood or 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.
*Some women can feel a bit of pain or aching near the ovaries during ovulation called mittelschmerz, which means ‘middle pain’ in German
*If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining.

How To Track Ovulation:

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. It is important to track your cycle and fortunately, there are a number of free fertility charting tools available to help women identify their peak fertile days.

The Ovulation Cycle Divided Into Two Parts:

The first part of the ovulation cycle is called the follicular phase. This phase starts the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) and continues until ovulation.  This first half of the cycle can differ greatly for each woman lasting anywhere from 7 days to 40 days.

The second half of the cycle is called the luteal phase and is from the day of ovulation until the next period begins. The luteal phase has a more precise timeline and usually is only 12-16 days from the day of ovulation.  This ultimately means that the day of ovulation will determine how long your cycle is.  This also means that outside factors like stress, illness, and disruption of normal routine can throw off your ovulation which then results in changing the time your period will come.

So the old thought that stress can affect your period is only partly true. Stress can affect your ovulation which ultimately determines when your period will come, but stress around the time of an expected period will not make it late—it was already determined when it would come 12-16 days earlier!

Do you have more questions about your cycle?

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