Ovulation may not normally be something you think too much about - most of us just track period dates. But if you’re trying to conceive, the day you ovulate becomes, arguably, even more important. Why? We’ll explain.
What Is Ovulation?
Your ovaries contain egg cells that are released each month, turn by turn. Ovulation is the process of releasing a mature egg from your ovaries. For most women, this is around the middle of the menstrual cycle. The egg makes its way to the fallopian tubes where it can be fertilized by a sperm. If this happens successfully and the egg is fertilized, it forms into a zygote which divides quickly to form a cluster of cells that implant into the uterine lining - the first step towards the start of your pregnancy.
If the egg isn’t fertilized in time, your uterine lining is shed again, and you get your next period. An egg has the best chances of being fertilized in the window of 12 to 24 hours after it is released from the ovary. A man’s sperm on the other hand is able to survive in the woman’s body for as long as 5 days after intercourse if the conditions are favourable.
Ovulation and Your Fertile Days
Your most fertile days are the ones around when you ovulate and are called your fertile window.
During each menstrual cycle, there are about 6-7 days in a row when you are fertile and can become pregnant. These fertile days are difficult to predict exactly because your menstrual cycles may vary slightly from month to month.
To improve your odds of conceiving, it helps if the live sperm are already in your fallopian tubes when ovulation occurs. If you have sexual intercourse any time in the 5 to 6 days before you ovulate, you stand a good chance of getting pregnant.
How Do I Know When I Am Ovulating?
Ovulation usually happens about four days before/after the halfway mark of your cycle. This is around 14 days before the next period for someone with an exact 28-day cycle, but most women have a cycle that’s longer or shorter by a few days.
The best way to know what your most fertile days are is to keep a menstrual calendar. You can also use an ovulation calculator or ovulation predictor online to predict your most fertile days once you know the dates and patterns of your period/menstrual cycle.
You can also track your basal body temperature which goes up by 0.5 to 1 degree when you ovulate.
- Alternatively, you could use a home ovulation kit to track levels of luteinizing hormone - these levels rise when you ovulate.
- Also, watch for telltale signs like changes in the colour and texture of your vaginal discharge - it may be thinner, more clear, and stretchy.
How To Check If You’re Pregnant
Want to check if you’re pregnant? The Mamaxpert Pregnancy Kit is a quick and easy-to-use home pregnancy test kit - you can take it from the comfort and privacy of your own home without the need to make a visit to the doctor’s clinic. In spite of the simplicity of taking this painless test, it is actually highly accurate and gives you your results in just a few minutes.
Use an online pregnancy test calculator to determine the best time to take the test.
Find out more about the full range of Mamaxpert products, designed to help women take control of their intimate hygiene, health, and wellness; making sure you are comfortable in your pregnancy and as you take those early steps of motherhood. Discover more about pregnancy-related concerns on the Mamaxpert blog - join a vibrant community with expert advice and the shared experiences of other women who know exactly what you’re going through.