Let’s break it down; Ovulation and what you need to know!

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Emobileclinic Specialist

DID YOU KNOW: OVULATION MIMICKS INFLAMMATION?
It is common knowledge for  all females of reproductive age (maybe not all) and males that care to know that once the female attains puberty her body undergoes a monthly series of changes known as menstrual/ sexual/ reproductive cycle. This cycle begins with ‘bleeding’ known as the menses for about 3 – 7 days followed by release of some hormones which regulate maturation of the eggs (follicles) in the ovaries. One egg eventually attains full maturity and is released around day14/15 of the cycle.

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Release of fully matured egg (ovum) is called ovulation.

However, release of eggs does not just occur randomly, it usually does under the influence of certain factors;
Increased secretion of leuteinizing hormone(LH)
Increased blood flow to the ovaries
Inflammatory mediators (prostaglandin, histamine)
Activation of certain cells (fibroblasts)
Ovulatory surge in LH initiates acute changes in the mature follicle(s). Blood flow increases and intrafollicular pressure increases by 4-fold. This increases permeability of the blood vessels in the wall of the follicle. This results in exudation of serum proteins characteristic of inflamed tissues. This proteins cause activation of fibroblasts in the wall of the follicle which begin secreting enzymes that degrades the extracellular matrix. Ultimately the follicle wall loses its tensile strength and eventually ruptures under the force of a modest but effective intrafollicular pressure and thus the egg is released.

In inflammation, the body maybe simultaneously engaged in both damage and repair processes. Vascular changes resulting in increased blood flow to the site of injury. This is the cause of redness and warmth at the site. This may increase the hydrostatic pressure at the site causing extravasation of serum and thus swelling of the tissue. White blood cells are attracted to the site by biochemicals, majorly histamine and prostaglandin. The white blood cells respond by releasing certain enzymes to break down the damaged tissue, engulf a foreign body. Fibroblasts aid the repair process by releasing certain enzymes that aid tissue repair.

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Having seen the similarities in both processes, it is important to note that certain drugs and medications used in arresting inflammation will also affect ovulation. Such medications include;
NSAIDs: these drugs are aimed at arresting the production and therefore availability of prostaglandins in circulation. Inhibition of prostaglandins to reduce pain is the wanted effect, however when used around the time of ovulation , these drugs prevents ovulation as prostaglandin is a key player in the process.

Antineoplastic drugs: anticancer drugs used in arresting cell proliferation and multiplication will arrest fibroblast proliferation in the ovary and thus the wall cannot be ruptured to release egg.
In light of the above, women, especially those trying to conceive, are advised to be aware of the type of medications /drugs they use. Always seek medical advice before taking drugs. You’ve been trying to conceive for some time now and you’re probably on ART treatment, do not use any side medication unless it was prescribed by your gynaecologist. Though it may be tempting sometimes to swallow some of those over-the-counter painkillers after a back-breaking day or weekend doing housechores, avoiding these drugs can be the key to your unanswered questions when you’re up-to-date with your cervical mucus chart, basal body temperature, regular menses and you are still not pregnant, take a further step by visiting a specialist.

Need one? 



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