Ovulation is the phase of the menstrual cycle where the egg is released from the ovary. When you track your ovulation period, you can plan sex with your partner and have a higher chance of conception.
Various symptoms and methods can help you track this phase. Ovulation tests can then verify when you are most fertile. Performing an accurate test to identify if you are ovulating is the surest way to confirm ovulation which is important for couples who are planning to have children.
What is Ovulation?
A regular menstrual cycle is 26 – 34 days. It begins on the first day of bleeding on your period. During this phase, your body releases follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) which grows the ovary’s eggs. The following 2 to 14 days is the follicular stage. The FSH thickens the lining of the uterus, preparing for a fertilized egg. Ovulation usually occurs on the 15th day of your cycle, though it may vary for everyone. Thus, many women experience ovulation between the 10th and 19th day.
The five days prior and the exact day of the ovulation is called the fertile window. You are most fertile during two days prior and on the day itself. If you’re trying to conceive, you should take note of these days.
Women have 1 to 2 million eggs but only release one every month. During ovulation, the luteinizing hormone (LH) sets the most mature egg (ovum) to travel down the fallopian tube. If the ovum meets with healthy sperm within 24 hours after release, it will be fertilized. If not, the egg disintegrates. Your body will shed the lining in the uterus, and this becomes your period.
Ovulation Test to Predict My Ovulation
Women experience different symptoms during ovulation. The most common signs include cervical mucus condition, pelvic or abdominal pain, sore breasts, light discharge, and heightened sex drive.
However, many women also don’t notice any sign. Fortunately, there are dependable indicators to help you chart your fertile days.
- Ovulation Kit – Ovulation tests are the most reliable way to know when your body is ovulating. It measures the luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in the body. A sudden rise in LH level means that LH set the release of an ovum. You can use this any time, but many suggest doing it in the morning, and at a consistent time. When you pee on a stick, you can compare the line that appears with the kit’s instructions.
- Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Monitoring – Your basal body temperature is your normal temperature. You can use a BBT thermometer every morning before getting out of bed. When you get closer to ovulation, your temperature slightly goes up.
What Are the Factors Affecting Ovulation?
Many women deal with irregular menstrual cycles which make tracking ovulation a little more difficult. If your cycle is shorter or longer than the average 26 – 34 days, you may visit a physician, obstetrician, or gynecologist. There could be underlying conditions that cause such irregularity.
A common ovulation disorder is Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) caused by imbalanced hormones. The higher amount of androgens in the body hinder the release of the egg. Instead of mature eggs, cysts are developed. Women experiencing PCOS either have infrequent periods or prolonged ones.
Being underweight or overweight causes hormonal imbalance as well. BMI outside the range of 18.5 and 24.9 causes irregular cycles. Being underweight sometimes stops your ovulation altogether.
Lifestyle factors also affect ovulation. Physical and emotional stress can disrupt your hormones and lead to irregular periods.
For those who recently had a baby and are breastfeeding, ovulation might stop for a while. It will resume once the baby is introduced to the bottle or other foods.