Womens Health

A Look At How Ovulation Works

If you’re trying to get pregnant, all of a sudden everything is all about ovulation! We tend to forget or simply not bother to retain the things we learn about ovulation in junior high because let’s face it—who really cares at that age? It’s a whole different game when we get older and want to start a family. That’s when the scramble begins to learn how ovulation works so we can make a baby.

Ovulation 101

Ovulation is what happens when the ovary releases a mature egg from the follicle.  This generally happens mid-cycle, meaning that if you get your period every 28 days then you ovulate around the 14th day of your cycle. The best way to know when you are ovulating is to start charting your menstrual cycles. If you’re looking to get pregnant then your best shot at doing so would come around then which means it’s a great time to try. Remember that not everyone’s cycles last 28 days—some are up to 40. Whatever is around the midway point based on your own cycle is what you want to go by.

Along with charting your period, there are also physical signs of ovulation that you can look for. These signs include;

Breast Tenderness: Your breasts may get tender midway through your cycle because of the change in hormone levels that happen as a result of ovulation.

Change in Discharge: You may notice that your vaginal discharge (cervical mucous) changes in amount and consistency. During ovulation you may go from next to no discharge to quite a bit and it will be much slipperier and more clear than usual. It is actually very much like egg whites. More than just a nuisance, this mucous actually helps to carry the sperm through the cervix more efficiently. This is the best physical sign to indicate that it’s a good time to try to conceive.

Increased Sexual Desire: See! The universe—and our bodies—really do work in mysterious, yet smart ways! Women’s sexual desire peaks during their most fertile time of the month. It isn’t just a coincidence or your partner’s dream come true when that time of the month rolls around and you find yourself feeling friskier than ever; you’re in prime baby-making mode.

Changes in Basal Body Temperature: Most women swear by the method of trying to conceive based on basal body temperature. The increase in progesterone when you’re ovulating causes minor temperature changes that can be kept track of using a thermometer and then attempting to conceive at peak times.

Any concerns that you may have about ovulation and your fertility should be discussed with your doctor. There are medical issues that can affect ovulation so if you notice anything unusual about your periods or if you have been trying to get pregnant without success, your health care provider can run tests that will help you figure out what’s happening.

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