Common determinants of Ovulation

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One of the essential components of the female menstrual cycle is ovulation. It is the most important phase of the menstrual cycle responsible for high chance of getting pregnant. In a 28 day menstrual cycle, ovulation usually begins on the 14th day lasting from 24 to 72 hours. Ovulation aids fertility and the knowledge of this will make you know the best time to have sex and get pregnant.


The process of Ovulation
During normal ovulation period, a mature egg is released from an ovarian follicle which passes through the fallopian tube where it meets with a sperm cell and becomes fertilized. The ovulation process is regulated by a gland in the brain which signals the body to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) known as hypothalamus. FSH is responsible for stimulating more than one egg in the ovary while LH influences the follicle to release the egg. It is the unfertilized egg that passes through the fallopian tube and exited the body along with the uterine lining that forms what is referred to as menstruation.



Best time to get pregnant

As said earlier, ovulation phase of the monthly cycle offers a good platform for one to get pregnant. During this time, the egg is ready for fertilization and if often referred to as “fertile window” which usually begins few days before ovulation and stops after ovulation. It is advisable to have sex a week leading to ovulation period while there is higher chance of conceiving if sex is made on the ovulation day as the sperm released can stay in a woman body for 3 to six days.

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Determinants of Ovulation
Many women are unaware of the ovulation period; here are some of ways to know when you are ovulating. For most women who have irregular period, using more than one method will be the best.



Counting the menstrual cycle days
In a normal menstrual cycle lasting for 28 day; the 14th day after the period is useful in determining when ovulation is likely to happen because ovulation usually happens midway through the menstrual cycle. However, because of the fluctuation in the length of normal menstrual cycles which could be longer or shorter than 28 days and vary on monthly basis, it is important to monitor the menstrual cycles for some months before concluding the normal ovulation time.



Measuring the basal body temperature
The basal body temperature is usually low before ovulation, at ovulation; the temperature is at its lowest level but instantly increases after ovulation. This can be done using a basal body thermometer and taken in the morning before getting out of bed or sit up. It takes a repeated measurement on daily basis for a long time before you can come to a normal level of your basal body temperature. The chance of getting pregnant is high when the temperature is at its lowest level.
Cervical mucus monitoring
Another important way to determine ovulation is through proper monitoring of the cervical mucus. It is instructive to note that there is usually some changes in the amount of cervical mucus secreted during menstrual cycle changes in color and volume and also coincides with an increase in the levels of hormones that prepare the egg to be released from the ovary. Some women have increased and consistence long cervical mucus on their underwear on the days leading up to ovulation which may be whitish or cloudy discharge. As ovulation period is approaching, the mucus increases becoming thin and clear, although this may continue after ovulation which makes not completely not a good ovulation predictor. However, if the method is used in addition to counting of days and basal body temperature, it can be useful in determining when ovulation is likely.

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Use an ovulation kit.

This method notifies one 24 hours in advance of an impending ovulation. These kits can be sourced at pharmacies and are easy to use. It works by measuring the level of urine on a stick while waiting for the indicator to inform you of possible ovulation or otherwise. It is important to know that these kits are expensive and cannot predict if the follicles on your ovaries have a mature egg or whether the egg is viable.



Check for abdominal cramping.

Abdominal cramp in some women is an indication of possible ovulation. Some women do experience mild pain or cramping in their lower abdominal area during ovulation. This abdominal cramp is considered a pointer to the maturation or release of an egg from an ovary. The pain is often one sided showing which ovary contains the mature egg about to be released.

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