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Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation

on Sep 22, 2012

by Lucy Eades

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Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation

Your menstrual cycle and ovulation are inextricably linked. Find out how both work and how knowing all about how the work can help you get pregnant quicker.

If you are trying to get pregnant, chances are that you know that ovulation is one of the most important things involved in the process. You probably already know that menstruation and ovulation are both connected and are both intertwined in the process of conception. What we are going to do in this article is try to explain a little more and help you to understand a little more about how the two processes are connected. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is ovulation?

First of all, it might help to know a little bit more about what ovulation is exactly. Ovulation is defined as when the egg is ejected from the ovary. Ovulation occurs only once each menstrual cycle, roughly halfway within your cycle. You have to ovulate in order to get pregnant. Your menstrual cycle and your menstrual period are also two very different things.

What is your menstrual cycle?

Your menstrual period is the time that you are actually bleeding. Your menstrual cycle, on the other hand, is the entire cycle, from the time you start bleeding, until your next menstrual period starts. The day that you start bleeding is not only day 1 of your menstrual period, but also day 1 of your menstrual cycle as well.

When do you ovulate?

After your menstrual cycle begins, around day 14, that is when ovulation will occur. Around day 14, ovulation occurs, and then, 14 days later, your next period starts. This is where the estimate of a 28 day cycle comes in. Bleeding… Fourteen days later, ovulation… Fourteen days later, bleeding again. See? Pretty simple really. You ovulate in between your periods, once per month.

Ovulation cycle: 2 parts

Your ovulation cycle is divided into two parts: Follicular Phase and Luteal Phase. Follicular phase is known as days 1 through 13, starting with the first day of your period up until the day of ovulation (Day 14). During the follicular phase, the egg grows and matures and prepares to be released. Around day 14, the body experiences a surge of a hormone known as the luteinizing hormone (you might have heard this referred to as LH), and the egg is released from the ovary. This then starts the luteal phase. The luteal phase is from the time the egg is released to the time you begin your period again. The luteal phase usually only lasts 12-16 days, and will be determined by the day of ovulation.

Know your fertile days

The egg only lives for around 12-24 hours after being released from the ovary, and this is when you can get pregnant. You are the most fertile from the day you ovulate, and a few days prior. Your body only releases one egg usually, but sometimes it can release two. (or more!) This is when people get pregnant with twins or multiples. Ovulation and your menstrual cycle is affected by a ton of factors, including stress, illness, exercise, or a major change in your day to day life. You should be aware that your period can still happen even if you are not ovulating. On the flip side, you can also ovulate even if you don’t have your period. They are connected, but they do not depend on each other. Hopefully now you have learned a little more about how menstruation and ovulation are connected!

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Lucy is a mother of three, who’s passionate about all things AP parenting. When she’s not busy giving tips on keeping babies healthy & happy, you can find her blogging on her popular YouTube channel

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  5. Ovulation: When Will I Ovulate?
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  • SusanPatch

    How can one detect the ovulation phase-are there any signs?

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  • lilli1980

    my cycle is not fix , i mean during last year some cycles are 27some of 28 or 30 but most of them are 27 how can i estimate my ovulation correctly

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    There are many ways to calculate your ovulation period. Even with irregular periods, predicting ovulation does not have to be a struggle if you pay attention to some other ways that let you know you are ovulating. Because checking the calendar for the halfway point between your periods is not a useful option, you could track your basal body temperature to figure out how to calculate ovulation. You could also monitor your cervical mucous and record it on your calendar. After your menstrual cycle, you’ll notice a few days of no mucous, then your mucous will get more abundant and more wet as you near ovulation. Your ovulation day is marked by the “clearest, slippery and most stretchy” mucous. Commercial ovulation test kits are also available to check for hormones that are more abundantly present in your urine when you are ovulating.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    There are several signs that you can detect for you to know that you are ovulating. One sign is a noticeable change in your cervical mucus, which will become very abundant, clear, and has the consistency of egg whites. You will also notice a significant rise in your basal body temperature, which will require you to track daily in order to detect this rise. During ovulation, you will also experience an increase in sexual drive and breast tenderness. There are also commercially prepared kits available that predict ovulation, which you can take a few days before you think you will ovulate.

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  • sms89

    hi,

    I am very overweight for last six years since my weight was within normal range, hence have had no periods or infrequent periods. Recently my period was six months ago. I have done tests before and there is no PCOS. I wish to get pregnant and am age 36. Will I be able to do so without drugs or will it be essential? If I get pregnant being overweight what complications can arise? currently am facing severe back pain due to even slight weight gain.

    Please advise.

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  • sms89

    I also wish to know what do i do to regulate my periods, how do i know when I am going to ovulate and if I do not have periods for m ore than six months does this mean I am not ovulating and therefore cannot get pregnant?

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    The best thing to do is to visit an OB Gynecologist for a medical check up. The doctor will give you options that are helpful to resolve all the problems the problems that you have mentioned.

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    We need to check first the reason why you are not menstruating, possible reasons are usage of birth control pills previously or menopause. Once you menstruate again, track your ovulation cycle. If you get pregnant being over weight, there are complications that may arise between you and the baby and these include gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (a condition that only occurs in pregnancy, characterised by hypertension and the presence of protein in the urine), abnormalities of the baby’s growth, development and general health and sleep apnea (a condition that causes you to temporarily stop breathing while you are sleeping).

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