A woman’s menstrual cycles affect her health, mood, and daily living quality from the beginning of adolescence to menopause. When we talk about pregnancy preparation, information about one’s reproductive functions is key to having a well-prepared environment for embryo implantation.
What is Ovulation?
What is ovulation? Ovulation is a physiological process that happens in a woman’s body defined by the rupture and release of the dominant follicle (egg) from the ovary into the fallopian tube where it has the chance to become fertilized. In a woman’s menstrual cycle, ovulation follows the Follicular phase where the egg is developed, and precedes the Luteal phase where the maintenance of the corpus luteum takes place. In a well-regulated hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis function, the release of the egg occurs around 14 days prior to menstruation in a cyclic pattern. When the egg is released from one ovary and travels down the fallopian tube, fertilization by a sperm cell may take place, leading to implantation, progressing to conception and pregnancy. If no fertilization happens, endometrial shedding (menstruation) results.
When is Ovulation?
When is ovulation is a hard question to answer since it occurs at different days depending on how long your cycle is. In a prospective study to estimate a woman’s fertile window, the period a woman is most likely to ovulate and conceive, only about 30% of the women have their fertile window identified by clinical guidelines (between days 10-17). Therefore, even if their cycles are regular, women should know that their ovulation period can still be unpredictable. There is something to note here about anovulatory bleeding, which is an ovulatory dysfunction. This is manifested by abnormal uterine bleeding, which is non-cyclic and characterized by irregular, prolonged, and often heavy menstrual bleeding.
When Does Ovulation Occur?
When does ovulation occur? Typically, ovulation lasts for a day and takes place in the middle of the menstrual cycle, about two weeks prior to the next period. However, ovulation timing varies from woman to woman and from month to month.
The fertility window also depends on sperm lifespan. It begins approximately 3–5 days before ovulation and continues until approximately 1–2 days after ovulation (egg lifespan). Identifying this window, more than just detecting ovulation, is vital for physicians to evaluate the menstrual cycle or ovarian function of women who wish to get pregnant, even for those embarking on artificial reproductive techniques. Before the day of ovulation, the preovulatory follicle starts a dramatic rise in estradiol that causes the LH surge. Approximately 10-12 hours after the LH peak, ovulation occurs. The beginning of the LH surge happens about 34 to 36 hours before ovulation and can give a relatively precise prediction on timing for ovulation.
7 Best Methods For You to Track Ovulation
- Body checking: pains, menstrual cramps, mittelschmerz
- Ovulation test (urine): test for luteinizing hormone (LH) surge
Cervical mucus discharges: Cervical mucus becomes wetter, slippery, and stretchy when closer to ovulation.
- Checking your basal body temperature with the use of the digital basal thermometer, the same time in the morning throughout your cycle.
- Ovulation Calculator
- Ovulation Calendar
- Ovulation Tracker
Since ovulation time varies from woman to woman, month to month, it may be difficult to identify your fertile days. Out of 5 women, 1 has irregular menstrual cycles that are either shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days or also with a variation of 7-9 days from one cycle to the next. But with the use of the ovulation calculator, it would be easier to more or less determine your fertile window. The ovulation calculator records your average cycle length and lists the date of your last period, estimating the day when you will most likely ovulate. You may also want to do calculations to point out symptoms of ovulation, such as abdominal bloating, spotting, slight cramps, breast tenderness, or increased sex drive.
Accurate Ovulation Calculator
Since about 99% accuracy can be acquired in detecting LH surge, which happens 24-36 hours before ovulation, the ovulation calculation proves to be more accurate than calendar and body temperature methods in predicting which days you are most fertile. With many kinds of ovulation calculators available on the market like Beyond Fertility Shop Ovacue Fertility Monitor, an accurate ovulation calculator is necessary.
The ovulation calendar or the classic “calendar method” was developed to predict the next ovulation, mainly for family planning, in which women recorded their menstrual cycles. Prior to the availability of mobile phone apps, the calendar rhythm method may have been one of the most widely recorded personal health information details. Today, the method of predicting the next ovulation date can be done with ovulation calendars integrated into personal informatics systems through mobile apps.
Ovulation trackers are available on mobile phone applications. They are marketed to women who wish to achieve pregnancy. However, while data acquisition is easy to access, many of them do not provide feedback to users concerning the opening and closing of their window. Such apps are available in both iOS and Android versions. One such app provides feedback, including when the users are potentially fertile, very fertile, or infertile. There are also fertility monitors available on the market.