What is ovulation

The part of the menstrual cycle where an ovarian follicle releases an egg is called ovulation. This egg then travels down the fallopian tube and may be intercepted by you-know-who’s sperm and voila! You’re pregnant. This important phase of the menstrual cycle is controlled by the hypothalamus that is responsible for stimulating the anterior lobe and pituitary gland to produce and release two vital players in ovulation, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

With the average woman’s menstrual cycle lasting anywhere between 25 and 35 days, ovulation can occur at any time between one’s 12th and 20th day of the cycle and is the time when a woman is considered most fertile.If you are trying to get pregnant, learning to recognize these signs can boost your odds of conception by timing sexual intercourse during the ovulation period.

What are the signs of ovulation?

Ovulation pain:

ovulation_egg_spermPerhaps the most commonly noted symptom is ovulation pain or Mittelschmerz – a German word for pain in the middle. This pain can last anywhere between a few seconds to several hours and is usually located in the mid section of the abdomen. For some women, this pain can be excruciating but for most it is an achy dull kind of pain. This is often accompanied by breast tenderness which for some women can cause discomfort even when touched – hardly convenient if you’re trying to get pregnant!

Cervical mucous changes:

An increase in the volume of one’s cervical mucous or milky white discharge at the opening of the vagina along with the thickening of the discharge often accompanies ovulation. Women that track cervical mucus changes look for an egg white consistency to mark their most fertile time.

Spike In Basal Body Temperature:

Experts insist that the basal body temperature is what is most reliable when it comes to predicting ovulation accurately. Women experience a rise in their average body temperature right after ovulation. So by keeping track of one’s basal body temperature even before you hop out of bed in the morning, a woman can predict the exact date of ovulation. This of course means that you should have tracked your basal body temperature for at least a couple of menstrual cycles to recognize any spikes or dips. Many women maintain a basal body temperature chart for a few months and are able to accurately predict temperature trends and therefore when ovulation is most likely to happen.

Ovulation Calendar:

Referring to an ovulation calendar may seem like an antiquated way to predict obligation; but has certainly stood the test of time for most women that have regular menstrual cycles. To get started, all you really need to know is when the first day of your last menstrual cycle was and how long it usually lasts. For sticklers, making a note of the luteal phase (length of time between ovulation and the end of the monthly cycle), consistently leads to accurate ovulation prediction.

However for those women that prefer to rely on technology, ovulation predictor kits are available that rely on detecting luteinizing hormone in your urine just before ovulation. Whichever system you count on, know that any added stress can only impede your chances of conception. So stay informed but try to take joy in the process. Being part of a large Indian family can be especially challenging where everybody knows each other’s business, but hang in there and enjoy the ride. This will seem like a distant dream once you conceive and your pregnancy symptoms take over!

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