Ovulation is part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It occurs when an egg is released from the ovary to the fallopian tube. If successfully fertilised, it travels to and implants itself in the uterus. However, it disintegrates when it’s not fertilised, leading to menstruation. Understanding how ovulation happens is crucial to preventing or achieving pregnancy and detecting specific medical conditions. However, how does it usually work? Please read on for more information.
How does ovulation happen?
Ovulation involves a complex interaction between the pituitary gland, uterus and ovaries to create the ideal environment for ovulation. Moreover, it is also influenced by external factors like nutrition or emotional state. This makes it essential to prioritise your diet, emotional and mental health to increase your chances of ovulating and getting pregnant. Here is a step-by-step analysis of how ovulation works.
- Each month, your pituitary gland releases a hormone that prompts the ovaries to produce fluid-filled cysts called follicles. Follicle growth then enhances the release of oestrogen that thickens your uterus walls for pregnancy. However, all follicles stop growing on the seventh day, except the one which houses the maturing egg or oocyte.
- On the twelfth day of your cycle, the growing follicle releases more oestrogen into your bloodstream, which travels to your pituitary gland in your brain. Your pituitary gland then releases the luteinising hormone that accelerates follicle growth.
- Before ovulation, the follicle releases chemicals that cause the fallopian tube to surround it. The follicle enlarges until it is burst open, causing the fluid and egg to move into the abdominal cavity. Finger-like projections called fimbriae picks up the egg and transports it into the fallopian tube. The walls of the fallopian tube gently contract, pushing the egg towards the uterus.
- The egg will either be fertilised or travel to the uterus unfertilised and absorbed into your body during this phase.
Can you track your ovulation at home?
Yes, you can easily track your ovulation at home in the following ways
- Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)
These kits are available at local drugstores and detect the presence of the luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine. Ovulation is a few days away if the result line is darker than the control line.
- Fertility monitors
While they’re more expensive, they effectively track oestrogen LH to determine the six crucial days of your fertility window.
- Basal body temperature charting
You can take your temperature with a basal thermometer in the morning to record its change throughout your cycle. Ovulation is sure when your temperature is elevated from the baseline for three days.
What to do when trying for pregnancy?
If you’re seeking to get pregnant, it’s best to have intercourse in three to six days leading to your ovulation period. You can also try during the ovulation period and still be successful. It would help if you also stopped taking your contraceptive pills to increase your chances of success. Some health experts suggest having three menstrual periods after halting your pill intake. This will enable your metabolism to return to normal. It’s also crucial to know your cycle length to determine your ovulation days. Suppose you need more information on ovulation to increase your pregnancy success rate. In that case, you can go to a credible fertility clinic to receive expert advice and tips.