Ovulation: All You Need to Know and More!
Ovulation is one of the most important things a woman should know about her body; it is the determining factor in getting pregnant. Understanding how it works helps you be in charge of your health and feel more confident in your body’s abilities.
Many guides and tools are available for tracking your ovulation, but before we suggest a few, Cryos wants to make sure you know what ovulation is and how it works.
What is Ovulation? How Does It Work?
1) What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from your ovary. It travels down the fallopian tube, and is made available for fertilization. This process happens once every month for most women.
2) How Does Ovulation Work?
There are 4 stages:
Stage (1) Menstrual cycle: Estrogen and progesterone levels are low when your menses begins. When you have your period, it is the thickened uterine lining shedding from your previous cycle. Typically, this lasts between 4 – 7 days, although it can be shorter or longer.
Stage (2) Follicular (AKA Pre-Ovulatory) Phase: This stage begins on the first day of your period, and lasts approximately 10-17 days.
During this time various signals in charge of your hormone levels are sent out. This includes the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FSH triggers your follicles to develop into mature eggs. A dominant follicle will develop and will release one mature egg while the others disintegrate. Before the mature egg is released, the lining of your uterus will thicken to prepare for the possible implantation of the mature egg.
Stage (3) Ovulatory Phase: Ovulation occurs mid-cycle in response to a peak in estrogen, occurring on any possible day of the Follicular phase above. This estrogen peak triggers a Luteinizing Hormone (LH) to be released, which is known as your LH surge. This surge causes the egg to push through the ovary wall within 24-36 hours and make its’ way to the Fallopian tube where it can be fertilized. This is the optimal time for insemination.
Stage (4) Luteal Phase: This stage lasts approximately 14 days and marks a decrease in the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). If a fertilized egg has not attached itself to your uterine wall during this stage, then the unfertilized egg will be reabsorbed and your menstrual cycle will start anew.
Menstrual Cycle Graph
This helpful graph depicts the average 28 day menstrual cycle, including the days of menstruation and peak ovulation days. It is important to remember that this is an average and many women have menstrual cycles that differ from this timeline.
Additional Facts to Know
- Implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6-12 days after ovulation, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
- Ovulation can occur even if your period has not occurred, and vise versa.
- The mature egg lives 12 – 24 hours after leaving the ovary.
- Normally only one egg is released from the ovary during ovulation.
- A woman’s cycle is normally between 28-32 days, but some may have longer or shorter cycles.
How Do You Track Ovulation?
To calculate when you are ovulating start with the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) or by calculating 12 – 16 days from the next expected period. Find your most “fertile time” of your cycle, which is usually between day 11 – day 21, by counting from the first day of your LMP. Every woman’s body is different, so ovulation may occur on a different day each month and at different times during your cycle. This makes it necessary to track your ovulation carefully, especially if you are doing a home insemination.
There are numerous ways you can track ovulation, and it is recommended that you use more than one method to increase your chance of correctly predicting when you are ovulating. Don’t rely on a mobile app alone to track your ovulation as it will not know your exact cycle until it has several months worth of data, and even then, it is preferable to combine it with another method of testing such as using ovulation testing strips.
Some methods of tracking ovulation include using:
- Phone apps
- Testing kits
- Testing strips (can be purchased in bulk at a low cost at places such as Walmart or Walgreens, or ordered off Amazon)
- Basel body temperature
- Tracking bracelets
Suggested Tools to Track
Graph – When Should You Inseminate?
This graph shows the percentage likelihood of conceiving via insemination on the days leading up to peak ovulation. The negative numbers in the grey area are the days before your ovulation day, with 0 being your peak ovulation day. Notice that the day directly after ovulation (day +1), you will have a close to 0% chance of conceiving.
This shows the pitfalls of waiting too long to inseminate, which is a common mistake many women make. By purchasing the recommended 2 straws and inseminating a little early, then following it up with an insemination using your second straw 12 hours later to wrap around your most fertile period, you increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If you have any questions, give our friendly Client Service Representatives a call at (407)-203-1175 or email us at [email protected]. We are open Monday – Thursday, 8 AM – 4 PM and Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM (EST).
A live online chat system is also available on the Cryos website on Monday – Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (EST) which will allow you to contact our Client Service Representatives with any queries you may have.
Cryos is here to help you by providing services that make it possible for your dreams to become a reality.