Updated on 4 September 2023
Ovulation is a crucial part of a woman's menstrual cycle, during which an egg is released from the ovary. It is the prime time for conception. However, once ovulation is over, the chances of getting pregnant decrease significantly. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the signs ovulation is over, the duration of ovulation, the possibility of pregnancy after ovulation ends, what happens in your body after ovulation, and how to track ovulation effectively.
Understanding the duration of ovulation is essential for women who are trying to conceive or want to avoid pregnancy. On average, ovulation lasts for 12 to 24 hours. However, the fertile window, which includes the days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself, is around 5 to 6 days. This is because sperm can survive inside the female reproductive system for up to 5 days, waiting for the egg to be released.
Once ovulation is over and the egg is no longer available, the chances of getting pregnant decrease significantly. However, it is still possible to conceive for a short period after ovulation ends. Sperm can survive inside the female reproductive system for up to 5 days, so if intercourse occurs in the days leading up to ovulation, there is a chance that sperm may still be present when the egg is released. It is important to note that the probability of conception decreases every day after ovulation.
Now, that we know how long does ovulation last, it can also be helpful to understand the telltale signs that indicate the end of ovulation:
After ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes thicker and stickier, which makes it less conducive for sperm to travel and fertilize an egg.
Basal body temperature (BBT) rises during ovulation and remains elevated until the next menstrual cycle. Once ovulation is over, BBT returns to its normal range.
Some women experience mild pain or discomfort during ovulation. Once ovulation ends, this pain subsides.
Ovulation tests detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs before ovulation. Once ovulation is over, the test results return to negative.
The heightened sex drive experienced during ovulation diminishes once ovulation is complete.
Breast tenderness or soreness is common during ovulation due to hormonal changes. This symptom usually disappears after ovulation ends.
During ovulation, the cervix is high, soft, and open. Once ovulation is over, it returns to a lower, firmer, and closed position.
Hormonal fluctuations during ovulation can cause mood swings. After ovulation, these hormonal changes level out, leading to more stable emotions.
Many women experience bloating and water retention during ovulation. Once ovulation ends, these symptoms usually subside.
After ovulation, the menstrual cycle progresses to the next phase, preparing for menstruation if pregnancy does not occur.
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After ovulation ends, the body goes through several changes as it prepares for the possibility of pregnancy or the onset of menstruation. The corpus luteum, which is the remains of the ovarian follicle that released the egg, starts producing progesterone. This hormone helps thicken the uterine lining, making it more receptive to a fertilized egg.
If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum breaks down, leading to a drop in progesterone levels. This triggers the shedding of the uterine lining, resulting in menstruation. Understanding what happens after ovulation can help women understand can you get pregnant after ovulation is over.
Tracking ovulation is crucial for those trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy. Several methods can help you identify when ovulation is likely to occur. These include:
By tracking your daily basal body temperature, you can observe the slight increase that indicates ovulation has occurred.
Paying attention to changes in cervical mucus consistency and color can help pinpoint the fertile window.
These kits detect the surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs before ovulation, indicating the best time to conceive.
By tracking your menstrual cycle over several months, you can estimate when ovulation is likely to occur. This method is less accurate but can provide a general idea of your fertile window.
The last day of ovulation typically does not have any distinct physical sensations. The signs and symptoms usually experienced during ovulation gradually subside as the body prepares for the next phase of the menstrual cycle.
Breast soreness or tenderness during ovulation is a common symptom caused by hormonal changes. This discomfort usually subsides within a few days after ovulation ends.
The least likely time to get pregnant is during the non-fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, which occurs before and after ovulation. However, it is important to note that the exact timing of ovulation can vary, and sperm can survive inside the female reproductive system for up to 5 days. Therefore, it is still possible to conceive during this time, albeit with a lower probability.
Understanding the signs ovulation is over is essential for women who are trying to conceive or want to avoid pregnancy. By tracking your menstrual cycle and paying attention to your body's subtle changes, you can gain valuable insights into your fertility window. Knowing when ovulation ends can help you make informed decisions about your reproductive health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and advice.
1. Su HW, Yi YC, Wei TY, Chang TC, Cheng CM. (2017). Detection of ovulation, a review of currently available methods. Bioeng Transl Med.
2. Reed BG, Carr BR. The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation. (2018). In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.
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