Ovulation is the release of the mature egg from the surface of the ovary. A hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) surges, triggering the release of the egg that’s most ripe. Simultaneously, cervical mucus becomes more slippery to help sperm make their way to the egg. This usually occurs mid-cycle, around two weeks before the menstruation starts. Check this article if you are interested in luteal phase, or click here if you want to read about estrogen and progesterone. Alternatively, you can click here for general information about each menstrual phase.
Ovulation phase is the only phase during your menstrual cycle when you can get pregnant. You can recognise if you are at ovulation by paying attention at the following symptoms:
- thicker discharge that has the texture of egg whites
- a slight rise in basal body temperature
Ovulation only lasts for about 24 hours. After a day, the egg will die or dissolve if it isn’t fertilized. However, sperm can live up to five days, so a woman might remain pregnant if she has sex intercourse as much as five days prior to ovulation.
How to know when you are ovulating
Knowing when you are ovulating will increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can keep track of your menstrual cycles on a chart, in a diary, or on a free period-tracker app on your smartphone. To work out the length of your menstrual cycle, record the first day you start bleeding (first day of your period). This is day 1. The last day of your cycle is the day before your next period begins.
Alternatively, there exists a calculator which might help you work out your most fertile time. It can also estimate your due date if you do become pregnant during your next fertile days. You can try it here.
Ovulation and fertility
Ovulation happens about 14 days before your period starts. A woman can only get pregnant during the “fertile window” in the menstrual cycle. If your cycle is 28 days long, then you will be most fertile during days 12, 13 and 14.
Common signs of ovulation
- Positive Ovulation Test Result.
- Fertile Cervical Mucus.
- Increased Sexual Desire.
- Basal Body Temperature Increase.
- Change in Cervical Position.
- Breast Tenderness.
- Saliva Ferning Pattern.