Understanding How Ovulation Works Can Be A Powerful Tool For Your Health
Itâs common that people are introduced to the topic only after they have trouble becoming pregnant. But having a grasp on the process can give you insight into more than fertility. Youâll better understand any hormonally-influenced changes to your body around that time, and learn what factors might affect the timing of your ovulation , and why.
Research has found that in the global north, we ovulate roughly 400 times throughout our lifespan . This number is influenced by the use of contraceptives , time spent pregnant and breastfeeding, and any behaviors or health conditions that affect the reproductive hormones . Prehistorically, women would have ovulated less than half as often .
What This Study Adds
The timing of the fertile window is highly variable, even among women who regard their menstrual cycles as regular
More than 70% of women are in their fertile window before day 10 or after day 17 of their menstrual cycle
There are few days of the menstrual cycle during which some women are not potentially fertile
Regarding the second assumption, the evidence for fertile days after ovulation comes from studies using crude measures of ovulation . With more precise measures, the fertile window does not seem to extend beyond the day of ovulation.1,2 It follows that women reach their fertile days earlier in the cycle than suggested by current guidelines. For example, women with regular 28 day cycles are most likely to be potentially fertile on days 8-15 of their menstrual cycle .
Your Ovulation Timing Depends On The Length Of Your Cycle
Ovulation is when one of your ovaries releases an egg.
You only ovulate once per cycle. You may release more than one egg at a time . But youll never ovulate, then ovulate again without having a period in between.
Ovulation occurs near the middle of your cycleafter your follicular phase, and before your luteal phase. The events play out like this:
Your cycle starts with your period.
Day 1 is considered the first day of steady bleeding . Periods last 5 days on average, but anywhere between 2 and 7 days is normal.
Your follicular phase varies in length.
It starts when your period starts , and ends with ovulation. The length of your follicular phase depends on how quickly youre able to make enough of the hormones that activate your folliclessacs in the ovaries that each contain an egg. Once activated, one dominant sac will rupture and release its egg.
Ovulation takes about 1 day.
The release of an egg triggers the production of hormones that prepare the body for a potential pregnancy.
Those pregnancy hormones rise and fall during your luteal phase.
They rise during the first half of the luteal phase, and you may feel a natural high and more energy as a result. Then they fall during the second half, and you may experience PMS symptoms.
If no egg was fertilized that cycle, pregnancy hormones are no longer needed. Their levels will continue to fall, which will trigger a period, and the cycle starts over again.
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Pregnancy And Birth Risks
Because of the changes that happen in eggs and sperm as we age, including damage to genetic material, children of older parents have a slightly higher risk of birth defects and genetic abnormalities. The risk of mental health problems and autism spectrum disorder is marginally higher in children of fathers older than 40 than in those with younger fathers.
It is estimated that the risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality is approximately one in 400 for a woman aged 30 and one in 100 for a woman aged 40.
The risks of miscarriage and complications in pregnancy and childbirth are higher for older women than for younger women.
Older women also have a higher risk of having gestational diabetes, placenta previa, placental abruption, a still birth and a caesarean birth than younger women.
Its important to remember that although the risk of health problems increases with age, most babies are born healthy, whatever their parents age.
Can You Ovulate More Than Once In A Given Cycle
Yes. Some people may ovulate more than once in a cycle.
One study from 2003 suggested that some may even have the potential to ovulate two or three times in a given menstrual cycle. Not only that, but in an interview with NewScientist, the lead researcher said that 10 percent of the study participants actually produced two eggs in one month.
Other people may release multiple eggs during one ovulation either naturally or as part of reproductive assistance. If both eggs are fertilized, this situation may result in fraternal multiples, like twins.
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How To Know If You Are Ovulating
Can you ovulate right after period? Yes, you can. But are there any signs or tests to say you are ovulating?
Signs of Ovulation
Common ovulation signs are as follows:
- Change of the cervical fluid
- Change of the cervical firmness and position
- Abdominal pain which is dull, usually located on one side of the abdomen
- Abdominal bloating
- Elevated levels of luteinizing hormones
- Increased libido
- Constant changes of the basal body temperature chart
- Increased sense of smell, taste, and vision
Women will not notice all the above-mentioned signs of ovulation. In general, women will notice only a few signs of ovulation with each menstrual cycle.
Charting Your Basal Body Temperature
When trying to detect the exact time of ovulation, charting the basal body temperature can help. The body temperature should be measured every day using a thermometer and the findings are written on a chart every day.
The temperature should be measured immediately after you wake up, before even getting out of the bed. Wake up around the same time of the day every morning, so the readings of your basal body temperature can be measured at the same time.
If you notice that your basal body temperature has increased by 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you are probably ovulating. Maybe understanding how basal body temperature charting works is not easy during the first months. However, after a couple of months, you should be able to understand this charting of your basal body temperature and notice patterns.
Menstrual Cycles Are Always 28 Days Long And Every Woman Ovulates On Day 14
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but every woman is unique and nearly 50% of womens cycles vary in length by 7 days or more1. In a recent study of over 800 women, only 14% of women with a 28 day cycle actually ovulated on day 14. The day of ovulation ranged from day 11 to day 20.2 As menstrual cycles vary in length, so does the timing of ovulation, so it can be difficult to know when your fertile days are.
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Basal Body Temperature Method
Also called the temperature method, you take your temperature each morning as soon as you wake up . You use a basal body thermometer, which may go in your mouth or your rectum. A basal thermometer is more sensitive than a regular thermometer. It measures body temperature to a tenth of a degree.
A womans basal body temperature rises slightly during ovulation . If you track your temperatures leading up to ovulation, you should see a sustained rise in your basal body temperature after ovulation.
To help you plan, write your body temperature down each day on a tracking sheet. You should track your temperature for at least three months before using this method for family planning.
However, its important to note that the basal body temperature method is not good at predicting your ovulation when trying to conceive. Once you identify the rise in your temperature, youve already ovulated. However, this method is a good tool to monitor your pattern of ovulation.
Week Two: The Follicular Phase
Your body actually starts getting geared up to ovulate on day one of your period, but letâs talk about it now. During week two of your cycle, your estrogen and testosterone are on the rise. The follicular phase goes from day one to day 13 of your cycle, because it takes that long to mature one of the thousands of young eggs hanging out in your ovaries waiting for their big day. The maturation process also triggers the re-growth of your endometrium, getting your body ready for either feeding an embryo, or your next period.
As your body hurdles toward ovulation, your libido increases . You will probably feel more turned on in this week. Remember that much of your sexual desire is very dictated by testosterone levels, and during this week your body is testosterone-heavy. This is super fun but remember that as you get more down to party during this week, youâre also getting more fertile by the day! So use contraception unless youâre trying to conceive.
Coming off the sluggish and perhaps painful first week, youâre likely more energized and less sensitive to pain at this time. Your cervical mucus is also changing during this week, getting clear, thinner, and more slippery, making it easier for sperm to find their way all up in there and survive for longer once they arrive.
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So When Is Pregnancy Most Likely
The only time you can get pregnant is during your fertile window.
An egg only lives for about 24 hours after being released from your ovary, and sperm can only live for up to five days inside the body.
That means you can only get pregnant if you have sex:
- in the four to five days leading up to ovulation
- on the day of ovulation
- on the day after ovulation
If youre looking to conceive, the best time to have sex is right before ovulation. This will give sperm time to reach the fallopian tube and meet the egg there.
After that, if no sperm has fertilized the egg, it will dissolve. You wont be able to get pregnant until your cycle restarts.
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Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period
While you can generally consider this a pretty safe zone, surprises of all sorts find their way into the fertility story.
Its a little something like this. Remember playing tag as a kid?
Well, in this popular childrens game, there is typically a safe zone, or den, where, as a player, youre free from being tagged. Sure, this space is safe.
But remember: theres always that one it who doesnt play by the rules and tags you anyway.
The most important thing to remember: sperm can survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.
So if you ovulate early or have a naturally short cycle, its possible.
Because lifes like that sometimes.
- Theres a window of fertility, and usually, your period likes to hang out in other parts of the month.
- Tracking your own unique cycle may be useful if youre looking to conceive.
- If youre looking to stay as far away from conceiving as possible, your period may present a safer zone, but safer is by no means totally safe and should be treated accordingly.
So thats all you need to know about whether you can get pregnant right after your period!
Good luck with your very unique journey with your very unique body, and remember to reach out to the community on Peanut for support and advice along the way.
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How Many Days After My Period Can I Get Pregnant
If you are planning to get pregnant, you should practice sex without contraception. A woman is more likely to conceive during the fertile window stage of the menstrual cycle, known as the ovulation phase.
Ovulation is a phenomenon when ovaries release the mature egg towards the fallopian tube .
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, you are more likely to get pregnant during the 10th-14th day, considering the onset of menstruation as day 1. However, the days can vary among each woman.
Sperms can survive in the womans body for 5-7 days. Thus if you have intercourse without contraception during the fertile window of the menstruation cycle, you are more likely to get pregnant.
How Soon After Conception Do You Have Pregnancy Symptoms
Once the egg is fertilized, it hasnt implanted just yet. It still has to move down the fallopian tube and implant in your uterus, which can take about a week. Once that happens, you might notice some spotting. This is perfectly normal. You might also notice spotting during the day or so when your period usually would have started. Again, this is normal.
You will likely notice the first signs within 14 days of conception . However, it depends upon the woman and how sensitive she is to physical changes. Some women might feel as though they are having symptoms immediately after conception, but that could also be wishful thinking symptoms often dont show up until about the time you miss your period.
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When Does Ovulation Occur
In an average 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs about 14 days before the beginning of your next menstrual period. The exact timing varies your cycle length may be longer or shorter. You may find it helpful to track your menstrual cycle using an app on your phone or a calendar. This can help you determine when ovulation is most likely to occur. Most people will have a period 14 to 16 days after ovulation, regardless of the length of their overall cycle.
How Can I Spot The Signs Of Ovulation
Ovulation usually happens about 12 to 16 days before the start of your next period, so it helps to know your cycle length before you start trying to conceive.
You may never have thought about when you might ovulate within your cycle, and if you have been using a hormone contraceptive such as the pill, you wont have had a natural menstrual cycle for a while.
As a first step, mark on your diary the dates that you bleed during a period. You can then count how many days from the first day of your period to your next period to work out the length of your cycle.
If you want to work out when you ovulate, there are a number of things you can try, such as monitoring your cervical mucus changes and body temperature or using ovulation test kits.
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General Overview Of The Menstrual Cycle:
The menstrual cycle includes several phases. The exact timing of the phases of the cycle is a little bit different for every woman and can change over time.
The first day of menstrual bleeding is considered Day 1 of the cycle.
Your period can last anywhere from 3 to 8 days, but 5 days is average.
Bleeding is usually heaviest on the first 2 days.
Once the bleeding stops, the uterine lining begins to prepare for the possibility of a pregnancy.
The uterine lining becomes thicker and enriched in blood and nutrients.
Somewhere around day 14, an egg is released from one of the ovaries and begins its journey down the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
If sperm are present in the fallopian tube at this time, fertilization can occur.
In this case the fertilized egg will travel to the uterus and attempt to implant in the uterine wall.
If the egg was not fertilized or implantation does not occur, hormonal changes signal the uterus to prepare to shed its lining, and the egg breaks down and is shed along with lining.
The cycle begins again on Day 1 menstrual bleeding.
Im Pregnant But Have Some Bleeding Is This My Period
Implantation bleeding sometimes happens in pregnant women around the time their period would have been due. Implantation is when the developing embryo plants itself in the wall of your womb. An implantation bleed is very light bleeding that is usually pinkish and sometimes brown. Not everyone will have an implantation bleed.
Its common to have light bleeding or spotting without pain before 12 weeks. This isnt often serious, but you should contact your doctor, midwife or Early Pregnancy Unit immediately to be checked, just in case.
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Do You Only Ovulate For One Day
Ovulation only lasts around 1 day. The body triggers the release of an egg from the ovaries. Once that egg starts its journey towards the uterus, it only stays viable for 1 day. However, sperm can live in the uterus and fallopian tubes, the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus, for up to 6 days.
How Long Do Eggs Last
As soon as the egg is released from the ovary, it has about 12 24 hours to live. If it is not fertilized by a sperm during this time, it dies and is eventually shed with the uterine lining. For the best chances of getting pregnant, you want sperm to already be waiting in your fallopian tubes at the time of ovulation. You can accomplish this by having sex in the days leading up to ovulation, when your chances of conception are even higher than having sex on the day of ovulation itself.
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