Ovulation takes place when a matured egg is released from the ovary, moves to the fallopian tube and is ready for fertilization. Understanding the ovulation process is one of the most important things a woman should do for her own body. It can help a woman to either become pregnant or to prevent pregnancy.
[Read: How Long does it take to get Pregnant after Ovulation?]
To understand the ovulation process, a woman should understand her menstrual cycle. Ovulation can be calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) or by calculating 12-16 days from the next expected period. Most women ovulate anywhere between Day 11 to Day 21 of their cycle, counting from the first day of the LMP. This is referred to as the fertile time of a woman's cycle, because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy.
The ovulation cycle can be divided into three parts:
- Pre-ovulation or Follicular Phase- This is also known as the follicular phase, which begins on the first day of the period and continues until ovulation. As the period progresses and hormonal changes occur, the eggs in the ovary prepare for release. The uterus lining begins to thicken.
[Read: How to Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant during Ovulation]
- Ovulation- This phase starts from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). Average women ovulate between 11 to 21 days. Around the 11th day after the period starts, the ovary releases a mature egg down the fallopian tube to the uterus. This should occur on or about the 14th day for women with an average 28-day cycle.
- Post-ovulation or Luteal Phase- The second half of the cycle is called the luteal phase and is from the day of ovulation until the next period begins. The luteal phase has a more precise timeline and usually it is only 12-16 days from the day of ovulation. This means that the day of ovulation will determine the length of the cycle. A luteinizing hormone (LH) is released and if the egg is fertilized, it becomes implanted in the womb. If it is not fertilized, it slowly stops producing hormones. This breaks down the lining of the uterus, prompting your next period/cycle to occur.
[Read: Signs of Ovulation in Women]
Ovulation is a phenomenon which happens in a cyclic manner in a woman’s life. It usually varies from woman to woman. By knowing about one’s ovulation cycle one can predict the chances of pregnancy.
Read more articles on Getting Pregnant.