Ovulation Basics: Definition and Fertility

Ovulation is a important process of the menstrual cycle by virtue of its close relationship with the conception date.

The days you are likely to be ovulating are obviously the most
important with regards to pregnancy because they are the fertile days
of your cycle. When I educate women on fertility issues related to the
cycle, questions about these days of the cycle feature amongst the most
frequently asked.

In this web page, I will discuss how you can
identify the fertile period of the cycle and some important basics
facts about the days you are ovulating.

What is Ovulation?

It is the process by which the mature follicle within the ovary
ruptures and releases the ovum( or egg) during the menstrual cycle.

The release of the egg occurs between the follicular phase and the luteal phase.

The
release of the egg requires an intricate interaction of hormones,
especially Luteinizing hormone(LH). About 30h before the egg is
released, there is an abrupt rise in the amount of LH in blood which
appears also in urine and therefore could be used to identify the time
you are ovulating.

The Fertile Period

This is the time shortly before or after the egg is released. These are the
fertile days of the menstrual cycle. The follicular phase comes before the release of the egg and the luteal phase comes after.

No
one ever ask to be taught how to identify the menstrual phase because
it does not require a doctor. Your two eyes will suffice to see.
However, the day you ovulate is not so obvious. There are techniques
that have been developed to help women identify these fertile days.

There are basically 3 methods you can use

  1. Simple calculation. By
    using the length of your menstrual cycle and its luteal phase, you can
    guess the day you will be ovulating.For those who have the 28 day cycle
    duration, the luteal phase is usually 14 days long. By subtracting the
    luteal phase length(14 in this case) from the cycle length(28),you get
    the most likely day you will be ovulating( 28-14=14).Remember, it is not
    100% accurate so it is advisable to take 1 or 2 days before and after
    this calculated date. For those who do not know their luteal phase
    length, you can use an average of 14 or measure yours latter if need be.
    There are many calculators (softwares) online which can produce a
    calender for you, showing the fertile and non-fertile days.
  2. Fertility charting. This is monitoring the body signs
    that indicate the release of the egg and recording them a paper or
    fertility chart.By observing this chart, you can learn many interesting
    facts about your body and also predict the date you will be ovulating.
  3. Test kits.These
    are test strips that detect the day you are ovulating by detecting LH
    in urine. Examples include ClearBlue easy and OvuQuick, available online
    for purchase or in offline stores


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