Ovulation is the process whereby your ovaries release an egg with the hope of it being fertilized by a sperm. Usually, the egg is not fertilized and the lining of the Uterus sheds in the form of your monthly period. In order to get pregnant, you must be Ovulating.
For some women, it is easy to tell when they are ovulating. They may have very regular cycles that they have come to understand. They may have conceived in the past at certain times of their monthly cycle. Others notice very consistent symptoms every single month that pertain to ovulation. There are also a huge number of women who have no idea about when their body releases an egg. This can make things very stressful when trying to conceive a baby
. They could be missing the most important days where sex might lead to conception.
You may have read that ovulation typically occurs on day fifteen of a typical twenty-eight-day cycle but that is not the case for everyone. Some women, despite having a regular cycle, ovulate at a different time of the month. In some cases, they may ovulate so late in their cycle that there simply is not enough time for an egg to be fertilized and implanted in the Uterus before the next period begins. In these cases, women may seek support and help from their GP or fertility consultant. They may be put on a certain pill to help regulate their period so that they can then be tracked and altered to encourage the possibility of conceiving a baby.
Not all women have a twenty-eight-day cycle
though. Some women (me included) have a 35-40 day cycle. Even in these cases, it is difficult to say when Ovulation might occur but as a general rule, it tends to be about two weeks before your next period is due. A woman with a 35-day cycle is likely to ovulate somewhere between days 19 and 21. This is not absolute fact though. Many women will notice that they ovulate a little earlier or later than this and that is perfectly normal in most cases.
For some women, ovulation does not always happen. It may be irregular or stopped by certain medications and conditions. Women who breastfeed tend not ovulate while their baby is exclusively breastfeeding. This is why some women consider breastfeeding to be contraception but this is absolutely not the case. Many women have still conceived while breastfeeding as every woman and cycle is different.
You are most fertile during a 5-6 day “window” of your cycle. When the egg is released it is available to be fertilized for 24-48 hours. The sperm survives for longer though. This means that the 4-5 days before ovulation are days where you may be very fertile as well as the day of ovulation itself.
Here are some ways to monitor ovulation
to pinpoint that all important time of your cycle
- You can monitor your Basal Body Temperature. This is your body’s temperature at rest. Throughout your cycle, your body should have a steady temperature daily. The day before ovulation your Basal Body Temperature usually dips and a sharp increase then follows. Tracking this pattern for a couple of cycles can give you a good idea as to when in your cycle you tend to ovulate.
- Ovulation Prediction Kits. Also known as OPK’s are sticks that you pee on. They indicate ovulation by measuring hormone levels. In some cases, a smiley face will appear when Ovulation is imminent or happening and in other cases, a colour guide will indicate the results.
- Monitoring your cervical mucous can be really effective. Cervical mucous is very normal and healthy. Many women notice an Egg-White Cervical Mucous (EWCM) consistency when they are ovulating. This is the body’s way of providing an easier way for sperm to travel to the egg.
- Physical symptoms such as tender breasts and or a sharp pinching pain on one side of your pelvis is a common sign that ovulation is occurring.
- Monitoring your mood. Many women notice an increase in Libido during ovulation. It is, perhaps, mother natures way of encouraging conception.