When is the right time? (Understanding ovulation)

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary and moves down the fallopian tube where it could be fertilized by a sperm.   Once fertilized, the egg will then travel down to the womb (uterus) to be implanted. If no conception occurs, the thickened lining of the uterus and the unfertilized egg will be shed as menstruation.


When does ovulation normally occur?

 Ovulation can occur at various time or day during a menstrual cycle. However, it is possible to track the timing of your ovulation. A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s menstrual cycle is between 28 – 32 days.
In order to determine when you are ovulating, you may need to monitor your cycle for the next few months as you need to know the average length of your cycle. Your ovulation day could be calculated either:
  • starting with your last menstrual period (LMP). You are most likely to ovulate from Day 11 – 21 of your menses.
  • Counting backwards 12 to 16 days from your next expected period. Hence, if you have a 28-day cycle, day 14th is often the day of your ovulation.
Hence, the ovulation time this is known as the “fertile period” of a woman’s cycle as sexual intercourse during this time increases the chances of pregnancy. However, in women with irregular cycles, it may be more difficult for them to determine the time of ovulation.
Tracking ovulation could be done by a combination of:
i) fertility awareness method i.e.detecting the changes in your body such as changes in the cervical mucus and body temperature
ii) ovulation predictor test that detects changes of hormones in your body during ovulation.
How does knowing when I’m ovulating help me to get pregnant?
By knowing when you are ovulating i.e your fertile period it will help you to time your sexual intercourse to increase your chances of getting pregnant. You fertile days are about 5 days before ovulation (as the sperm could survive for 3 – 5 days in the women’s body) and last 2 days after ovulation. Therefore, your fertile period i.e period of time where sexual intercourse could lead to pregnancy is around 7 days. The ‘peak fertility’ period is the day before and the day of ovulation.


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