Explore the science of ovulation, its critical role in conception, and birth control. Learn about helpful tools such as ovulation calculators and signs of ovulation for effective fertility management.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovarian follicle.
Ovulation is the key to both conception and birth control. Surely every woman of a certain age needs an ovulation calendar. So the question is not if to have an ovulation calculator, but which tools are available for it. Will plain old paper charting be as effective as a modern online service? How about keeping it in a spreadsheet program (like Excel)?
- Help in getting pregnant
- Forecast ovulation and fertile days, get early pregnancy symptoms
- The due date is automatically calculated
- Birth control tool, avoid unwanted conception
- Track your cycle, calculate menstruation days
- Forecast “safe sex” days
- Plan important events: vacations, weddings, trips, etc
- Track your cycle offline with our print-out charts
- Share your information with your partner or with your physician
- Track pregnancy
The expulsion of a mature egg from its follicle in the outer layer of the ovary usually occurs on approximately day 14 of a normal 28-day menstrual cycle. A woman is most fertile in the days just before and on the day of ovulation.
While the ovary is preparing an egg for ovulation, the lining of the uterus is being prepared to accept a fertilized ovum to begin the pregnancy. Ovulation also occurs in the estrous cycle of animals, which differs in many fundamental ways from the menstrual cycle.
All of us know the most accessible calculation technique for the conception possibilities assessment. It is considered that a woman can get pregnant only around the cycle days close to ovulation, the release of the now mature ovum from the ovary.
In an average 28-day cycle, the most fertile period covers the time from day 10 until day 17 after the beginning of the menses. If the menstrual cycle duration and values differ, just keep in mind that ovulation occurs two weeks before the expected menses.
However, we all know that slips sometimes do happen, and the desired pregnancy fails to occur, or we suddenly discover pregnancy signs in the infertile days.
How to avoid such a life-changing surprise? The matter is that the above technique can be applied for a regular menstrual cycle. If the cycle duration differs, the fertile time calculation assumes that ovulation occurs approximately two weeks before menstruation but not in the mid-cycle.
Thus, the highest likelihood of getting pregnant is 4-5 days before and after the expected ovulation, but not one week, as we roughly consider. With the objective of calculating a proper period, you can work out a personal ovulation calendar.
Calculate your ovulation and get pregnant
In order to properly compute ovulation days, predict fertile days, and future periods, a calculator needs to take into account lots of things: your history (past menstruations and ovulations), current fertility symptoms, such as basal body temperature, cervical secretions (mucus), and position of the cervix, as well as independent statistics accumulated by the software from other women.
A proper calculator will not only calculate your ovulation but also keep track of all aspects of your menstrual cycle, giving you important information required to make decisions when you are trying to conceive.
Basic paper charting or simple calculators that just add up 14 days to the first day of your last period can not be of much help to you. You need a full-featured ovulation calculator. Getting pregnant may take months or even years, and you need a tool that will assist you throughout this process, as well as during pregnancy.
Thus, the probability of conception is determined by the lifespan of the sperm, which is up to seven days, but usually is not more than three, and the lifespan of the egg, which is less than 24 hours. Given the survival times, we can conclude:
- If you had intercourse on ovulation, the chances of getting pregnant are the highest.
- If you had it one day before ovulation, then the possibility is pretty high, as sperm will survive in a woman’s body. The further it is from ovulation (i.e., the earlier) – the worse chances of getting pregnant will be lower.
- If you had intercourse one day after ovulation, then the probability of conception is not high and almost nil two days after ovulation. The third day after ovulation is a “safe-sex” day.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovarian follicle. Knowing the time of ovulation is crucial to be able to conceive because fertilization can occur only on ovulation.
Ovulation symptoms are the following:
- The surge in luteinizing hormone (LH). It can be detected by an ovulation (LH) test.
- Basal body temperature (BBT) follows a certain pattern.
There are other ovulation symptoms, but they are less reliable, including:
- Cervical secretions (mucus) become slippery, wet, and stretchy.
- The cervix is open and high in the vagina.
Some women may feel pain on the right or left side of the abdomen, but the most reliable and trustworthy method of detecting ovulation is using an LH test.
Ovulation Calculator predicts ovulation
An ovulation calculator is a free tool that will help you determine your ovulation. During your ovulation, a mature ovum is released from the ovarian follicle, ready to be fertilized. During this time of the month, you are most fertile. When you time your intercourse a few days before and during this period, you have a great chance of achieving pregnancy.
Remember that the ovulation calculator works best for those women whose menstrual cycle is regular (meaning it has a consistent number of days and happens in a steady, repetitive manner).
However, there are some other Natural Family Planning (NFP) fertility indicators that are in the process of being added to the program.
Ovulation and its Relation to Fertility
One needs to understand her biological processes and preconception health so that she may appreciate the essentials of everything she has to do to become pregnant.
Starting with the basics, we have ovulation. The woman starts ovulating when the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland in the brain modulate certain hormones and chemical reactions.
The hormones FSH and LH are for the maturation of the egg in the ovarian follicle. The hormone estrogen causes tissues and blood vessels to thicken the uterine lining to prepare the body for pregnancy.
In the middle of the cycle, the egg becomes mature, and it is then released. This is through a sudden increase in the amount of LH hormone, which causes the surface of the ovarian follicle to decay, thus enabling the mature egg to be transported to the fallopian tube and then swept toward the womb. If fertilization takes place within 24 hours, pregnancy will certainly occur.
A woman is fertile a few days before and until her ovulation. This is the period when conception is readily possible.
The 14th day of a 28-day cycle is usually when the mature egg is released. This is her ovulation day.
However, every woman is unique and other’s cycle may be shorter, and others may be longer.
It is still normal to have the mature egg released some days earlier or later than the 14th day, even for a woman with a 28-day cycle.
Here are the essentials about ovulation that couples trying to conceive might find handy. Remember to time your intercourse during the woman’s ovulation to achieve pregnancy.
- There is a 12-24 hour limit for the egg to be viable for fertilization. 24 hours after its release, it dies and disintegrates in the form of menses and conception will no longer be possible.
- Basically, only one egg or ovum is released per monthly cycle. But there is a recent debate on the possibility of ovulating twice in a single cycle since two eggs can be released monthly.
- Some factors may affect the regularity of your ovulation. This includes sleeplessness, stress, illness, diet and even jet lag. Remember that it is important to maintain your hormones balanced.
- Pregnancy occurs when the fertilized ovum is implanted into the womb, not just when the ovum gets fertilized by a sperm. Implantation takes place after the embryo’s cells have multiplied or developed to a certain point.
- The ovarian reserve of every woman is determined from the moment she is born. The immature ova are in millions, but the ability of the eggs to mature depends on the hormonal and biological processes of folliculogenesis.
- Some women experience ovulation symptoms. The symptoms include pain and spots of blood, which are due to the release of the mature ovum.
- Ovulation tests and fertility monitors help in the prediction of your ovulation almost always accurately.
- Progesterone is released in the menstrual cycle’s second half, or the luteal phase. This hormone causes an increase in the body temperature, which makes a very predictable pattern for monitoring when you are most likely to ovulate and when you are most fertile.
You need to know exactly the time of ovulation to be able to conceive successfully, especially if you are not able to have intercourse so often.
(Image Sources: Freepik).
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.