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    Getting Pregnant

    Ovulation Period - The Most Fertile Window, Open the Roadblock to Pregnancy

    Written on 25 February 2022

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    Introduction- What is Ovulation?

    Keep reading to know the importance of ovulation, your most fertile period, ovulation calculation, symptoms of ovulation, late ovulation, and everything else about ovulation.

    Did you know that women are born with all the eggs they produce over their lifetime? Ovulation is that monthly process in which a woman’s ovaries produce an egg that is fertilized and helps in the final goal of conception.

    Importance of Ovulation

    When you’re trying to get pregnant, ovulation is of utmost importance since that’s the time you’re most fertile. Having unprotected sex during this period of your menstrual cycle can increase the chances of conception. However, if you miss your fertile days, you'll have to wait until the next cycle to try again. Hence, you must keep track of your ovulation days in order to plan your family.

    In this article, you can find answers to various ovulation-related queries and a lot more.

    All About Fertilization & Ovulation Calculation

    When Are You Most Fertile?

    Now that you’ve decided to have a baby, the first thing on your mind is to find out your most fertile period of the month. It is not that easy to predict the exact date but ovulation usually takes place between the 10th-14th day from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. You can also try using an ovulation calculator to detect your most fertile window. You just need to log the date of your last menstrual cycle and it will calculate the fertile window for you. Isn’t that easy peasy?

    What happens during ovulation?

    During ovulation, some matured eggs are discharged from the ovaries. A ripe egg is released and it moves via the fallopian tubes, where it stays for 12-24 hours.

    How Long Does the Ovulation Period Last?

    Ovulation normally lasts between 12 and 48 hours. If you indulge in unprotected sex and as a result the egg & sperm are able to meet, then this egg can get fertilized, leading to conception. According to The American Pregnancy Association & various research journals, the sperm can remain in a woman's reproductive system for up to 5 days. It also indicates that a woman is potentially fertile for up to 10 days after ovulation.

    How to Calculate Ovulation?

    If a woman has unprotected sex with her partner during the ovulation phase, the chances of getting pregnant are quite high. You can have an estimate of your ovulation period with the help of these 5 ideas:

    Few easy ways to detect your most fertile time

    • Standard Days Method/Calendar method

    Just jot down the start date of your last menstrual cycle and ovulation will take place between the 10th-14th day from that date. This calculation is easy and simple but can’t always be accurate. Alternatively, you can use a period tracker or an ovulation calendar.

    • Ovulation Predictor Kit-

    You can buy the ovulation kit from a pharmacist nearby and all you need to do is just pee on the stick available in the kit. The indicator will tell you whether you’re about to ovulate or not. The test can be done by checking the urine. To detect the surge in LH, the ovulation kit is ninety-nine percent accurate. The saliva test indicates a rise in estrogen levels. No kit can guarantee ovulation, but you may still get a fair idea of the ovulation phase.

    • Track Your Temperature-

    You must monitor your basal body temperature (BBT) and keep track of it. This method requires a lot of patience and time because as soon as you wake up and open your eyes, the first thing you need to do is to check your body temperature. Before you talk, sit up, or step out of bed, just check your temperature as your body temperature will be the base reading for further calculations. The body temperature will reach its lowest during ovulation and will immediately rise as soon as ovulation occurs.

    • Listen to Your Body-

    If you experience abdominal pain- like a series of cramps in your abdominal area, then you must pay close attention.

    • Get to Know Your Cervix-

    With the help of your one or two fingers, you can check if the cervix is firm and closed because during ovulation it’ll open a bit and the mucus also changes. You may notice the discharge and remember it in your mind.

    Symptoms of Ovulation:

    Now, when you know all the tricks to calculate your most fertile time, you may want to know about the symptoms of the ovulation period. The symptoms that indicate that you are ovulating are listed below-

    • Change in Vaginal Discharge:

    Just before ovulation, you are likely to notice an increase in vaginal secretions which are clear and stretchy.

    • Change in Body Temperature:

    The body’s temperature increases during ovulation. You can use a thermometer to keep track of your body temperature and look for specific patterns to emerge. You will be more fertile two to three days before your temperature rises.

    • Abdominal Cramps:

    Pain in the lower abdomen can be present due to the rupturing of the follicle when the egg is released. You may feel slight or heavy cramping which can last for a few minutes to hours. In case you experience severe long-lasting pain, consult your doctor. They may conduct a pelvic examination in order to ascertain the cause of pain.

    • Increased Sexual Desire:

    According to several studies, women are found to have increased sexual desire during the time of ovulation. This is caused due to the rise in oestradiol levels.

    This may also interest you: Best Sex positions for conception.

    • Breast Tenderness:

    Some women may experience breast tenderness before or after ovulation. It may be confusing with the sign of pregnancy. But in both situations, it is related to a change in hormonal levels.

    • Headache or Nausea:

    You may also experience headaches and nausea during the ovulation period. Such symptoms can be attributed to rising estrogen and progesterone levels.

    • Ovulation Bleeding:

    Bleeding can be alarming but is actually a sign of ovulation. The variation in the hormone levels is known to be associated with the bleeding pattern. However, if you experience mid-cycle bleeding with severe cramping or bleeding which lasts a few days, it is advisable to consult your doctor.

    Late Ovulation: Causes, Symptoms & Effect

    Causes:

    Ovulation can be late or absent due to an imbalance in your hormones and that doesn’t mean that you’re infertile. If you ovulate between days 21-35 then you might have no clue about your next menstrual cycle. If you’re stressed and wondering if there are any chances of getting pregnant after a delayed or late ovulation then you don’t have to worry. Most of the time tracking your menstrual cycle and ovulation window can be a daunting task and for that, you can take help from a fertility expert. You must be pondering what causes late ovulation:

    • Stress-

    Stress of any kind be it physical, mental, or emotional, is bad for your health and fertility. It causes menstrual disorders in women because of poor hormonal health.

    • Thyroid Disorders-

    A woman is said to be fertile when the pituitary gland is creating hormones. Even if the woman is ready to conceive, thyroid disorders like Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism affect the natural process and creates a problem in the ovulation cycle. Irregular periods can happen due to Hyperprolactinemia (When hormone prolactin is secreted excessively).

    • Breastfeeding-

    Prolactin is an essential hormone that produces breast milk and that also lowers fertility in a woman’s body during lactation. It's normal for nursing mothers to get an irregular menstrual cycle.

    • PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)-

    PCOS affects the ovaries because testosterone is overproduced. It affects the functioning of ovaries by producing an excess of male hormones in a woman’s body, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycle, enlarged ovaries, and small cysts are built up in ovaries. Women with PCOS have to face many complications when trying to conceive.

    • Medications-

    Certain drugs and medications like steroids, marijuana, cocaine, some antipsychotic medication, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can restrain your ovulation cycle.

    Symptoms of Delayed Ovulation:

    Some of the common symptoms of delayed or late ovulation are as follows:

    • Vaginal Discharge-

    Changes in the vaginal discharge are quite common and the cervical mucus increases and resembles egg whites and appears to be stretchy and clear.

    • Spotting-

    When the ovulation is late some women may experience spotting.

    • BBT-

    An increase in basal body temperature.

    • Pain in the lower abdomen-

    You may feel pain at one side of your tummy or may experience some breakthrough bleeding. It is also called Mittelschmerz.

    Effect:

    After knowing about the causes and common symptoms of late ovulation, let’s find out how does it affects conception and fertility:

    You may experience heavy bleeding in your next menstrual cycle if you have late ovulation. Some of the possible consequences are:

    • Difficulty in tracking your menstrual cycle

    • Hormonal levels go out of balance and cause late maturity of eggs

    • Increase in breast sensitivity

    • A heightened sex drives

    • You may have to wait a little longer for the sperms to get fertilized

    • Sometimes immature eggs may get released

    When to see a doctor?

    Many couples are hesitant to visit a doctor because they lack knowledge and don’t know when they should consult one. You should consult a fertility expert for the following reasons:

    • You’ve been trying to conceive for the last 1 year without using any birth control methods

    • Abnormal bleeding and excruciating pain during periods

    • For the last 90 days, you are not having your menstrual cycle

    Ovulation Disorders & Treatment:

    Disorders:

    Issues with the ovulation process can lead to infertility or difficulty in conceiving. Some types of ovulation disorders are:

    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

    A woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has enlarged ovaries, often with small, fluid-filled cysts on them. It can lead to a hormone imbalance that can disrupt ovulation.

    Other symptoms can include insulin resistance, obesity, abnormal hair growth, and acne.

    PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women.

    • Hypothalamic dysfunction

    This happens when the production of the FSH and LH hormones is disrupted. These are the hormones that stimulate ovulation. This can affect the menstrual cycle.

    Irregular menstrual cycles and amenorrhea, which means not menstruating at all, are common.

    Causes of hypothalamic dysfunction include excessive physical or emotional stress, extremely high or low body weight, or substantial weight gains or losses.

    Excessive exercise, low body weight, and tumors of the hypothalamus can also lead to hypothalamic dysfunction.

    • Premature ovarian insufficiency

    This is when egg production stops prematurely, due to a drop in estrogen levels.

    It can be due to an autoimmune disease, genetic abnormalities, or environmental toxins.

    It typically affects women before the age of 40 years.

    • Hyperprolactinemia, or excess prolactin

    In certain situations, such as the use of medication or an abnormality in the pituitary gland, which produces hormones, women can produce excessive amounts of prolactin. This, in turn, can cause a reduction in estrogen production. Excess prolactin is a less common cause of ovulatory dysfunction.

    Ovulation Treatment:

    Ovulation treatment may vary for different individuals. Your doctor may prescribe you certain medications for it. These medications are known to regulate or trigger ovulation:

    • Clomiphene citrate (Clomid): This oral medication increases pituitary secretion of FSH and LH, stimulating ovarian follicles.

    • Letrozole (Femara): This works by temporarily lowering a woman's level of the hormone progesterone to stimulate ovum production.

    • Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG (Repronex, Menopur, Pergonal) and FSH (Gonal-F, Follistim): These injectable medications are known as gonadotropins and stimulate the ovary to produce several eggs for ovulation.

    • Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG (Profasi, Pregnyl): This matures eggs and subsequently triggers their release during ovulation.

    • Metformin (Glucophage): This medication is typically used in women with PCOS to treat insulin resistance and increase the chances of ovulation.

    • Bromocriptine (Parlodel) and Cabergoline (Dostinex): These medications are used in cases of hyperprolactinemia.

    Be aware that taking fertility drugs can increase your chances of having twins or triplets. The above may trigger side effects, including:

    • Abdominal pain

    • Hot flushes

    • Heavy menstrual flow

    • Tenderness in the breasts

    • Vaginal dryness

    • Increased urination

    • Spots

    • Insomnia

    • Mood swings

    If these become severe, a doctor may be able to suggest other options.

    Conclusion:

    If you are trying to conceive and are not able to ovulate due to some reason, you should consult a fertility specialist and follow the expert guidance.

    Finding any difficulty while calculating your ovulation days? Or want to know when is the best time to get pregnant? Download the Mylo App and use its free ovulation calculator and know your most fertile days to get pregnant fast.

    FAQs

    1. When does ovulation start?

    Ovulation usually starts 10-14 days after the start date of your last period cycle.

    1. What is the ovulation period?

    The ovulation period is the time when you are ovulating. The chances of getting pregnant are relatively higher in this period.

    1. What is a fertile window calculator?

    This is yet another name for an ovulation calculator. This helps in calculating your fertile period where you can try for pregnancy.

    References

    • Cleveland Clinic Medical Professional. (2019). Female Reproductive System.my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9118-female-reproductive-system.Cleveland Clinic
    • Jayne Leonard. (2022). What days can you get pregnant?. www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322951#Summary.Medical News Today
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    Written by

    ishmeetkaur95

    ishmeetkaur95

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