What is Ovulation and Why is it so Important?

Apr 06, 2016


I’m excited to welcome guest blogger Phil Druce, founder of Ovulation Calculator to my blog!

Their site provides accurate ovulation prediction tools, high quality information and education to families who are trying-to- conceive.

Many couples are missing their fertile window every month and these tips can help you get pregnant naturally!

Ignorance is bliss. This old cliché holds true for so many things. Ovulation is not one of them. If you are trying to get pregnant, or even if you are trying not to, you should know a thing or two about ovulation. And the more you know, the better prepared you will be to start family planning.

Ovulation is important because it is the only time in the cycle when a woman can get pregnant There is a short period before and during ovulation when a couple can have sex to conceive. If you miss that window, you must wait until the next cycle to try again. As you might imagine, if you do not know when you ovulate, you may miss many cycles and prolong the process of trying to conceive.

Ovulation in Broad Strokes

In broad strokes, ovulation is when your body releases a mature egg for fertilization. It happens once during every cycle, so you can expect it to happen about once a month, depending on your cycle length. Every woman is born with as many eggs as she will have in her lifetime. Starting with puberty, the body will begin preparing eggs to be released during ovulation. This is an ongoing process. Even as you are ovulating, your body is preparing a new egg to be released in a future cycle. Many eggs will perish during the process of releasing one, but it is all part of the natural process.

How to Know When You are Ovulating

Some women just know when they are ovulating because they experience symptoms, such as cramping, breast tenderness or bloating. This is somewhat rare, so if you are not one of these women, do not worry. There are other ways to know whether you are ovulating. Any woman can look for changes in their cervix, including cervical mucus changes, or chart their basal body temperature to better understand their cycle and be able to predict ovulation.

The Role of Ovulation in Your Menstrual Cycle

Your cycle begins with your menstrual period. Ovulation usually occurs 12-16 days before your next menstrual period. When the egg is released and not fertilized, it will degenerate and disintegrate. Without implantation (when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall), the uterine lining eventually breaks up, causing a period. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg will nestle into the plush uterine lining for nourishment and protection.

Menstrual Cycle Phases

The menstrual cycle can be described as a series of phases that happen in the ovary or in the uterus. At the ovary level, the phases are: Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal. The follicular phase begins on day one of your cycle and lasts up until ovulation. During this time a few follicles compete for dominance. Each follicle contains an egg. In most cases, just one egg is released in any given cycle. While your body is preparing to release an egg, it is also building up the lining of the uterus to prep for pregnancy. Your fertile window occurs in the last five days of the follicular phase and ovulation day. This is when you are most likely to become pregnant.

The next phase is ovulation, when the egg is released. After you ovulate, you enter the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle. Because the follicular phase can vary in length, this can happen anywhere from day 7 to day 22 of your cycle. During the luteal phase, you will notice a rise in your basal body temperature and it will remain elevated until the end of this phase. A new cycle begins when your next menstrual period starts.

What to Do When You Are Ovulating

Once you can predict ovulation, it is time to do the baby dance! That is, have sex. For the best results, have sex within the three days leading up to, and including ovulation. Although having sex during these days increases your chances of conceiving, it is still completely natural for a healthy, fertile couple to take up to six cycles before they conceive. So if you do not get pregnant right away, do not be concerned. Just keep trying. If you do not become pregnant within a year, it is time to consult a fertility specialist. If you are 35 or older, you can seek fertility help sooner, at about six months of trying to conceive. Of course though, if you have any concerns whatsoever, seek medical help immediately.

To learn more about identifying the signs and symptoms of ovulation click here.

Author Bio: Phil Druce created Ovulation Calculator in 2014. He aims to bring the latest technology to predicting ovulation as well as increasing awareness of fertility through education.

Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving.  She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs.  Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance.  Ready to gaze into your baby’s eyes….but struggling.  Download 10 step Checklist here