Wondering about pregnancy or how to avoid it? Birth control and getting pregnant are related to one crucial thing – ovulation. Ovulation refers to the process where a woman’s ovaries releases eggs into your womb (uterus). The time of ovulation is one of the most important things a woman should understand about her body, since it is the determining factor in getting pregnant and preventing pregnancy. The process can be confusing and somewhat overwhelming.
Here are some key facts of ovulation:
- In general an egg survives for 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary.
- Under normal circumstances only 1 egg is released at a time.
- Stress, illness or disruption of normal routines can disrupt your ovulation cycle.
- It is normal to observe a little spotting (blood spots) during ovulation.
- If an egg does get fertilized it takes up to 6-12 days for implantation (attaching itself to the uterine wall) after ovulation.
- Every woman has a large number of immature eggs waiting for release by ovulation.
- Menstruation (your periods) can occur with or without ovulation.
- You can ovulate even if you haven’t had your periods.
- It is normal to feel some pain or discomfort during ovulation. The pain is usually associated near the lower abdomen and is called ‘mittelschmerz’ ( “middle pain” in German)
- If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining
If you are planning a pregnancy, an important tool is the ‘ovulation calendar’. An ovulation calendar helps by calculating the days that are favorable for conception. Knowing your time of ovulation is crucial to successful conception. Your fertile period starts about 4-5 days before ovulation, and ends about 24-48 hours after it. This is because sperm can live in your body for approximately 4 to 5 days, and the egg can live for 24 to 48 hours after being released. Maximum fertility is reached during the period of 24 hours before ovulation and 24 hours afterwards. To increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should time intercourse to occur during this ‘fertile window’.
Pregnancy can be the most beautiful thing to ever happen to a woman. If you have been trying for a long time, with no success, be sure to visit your physician. A slight alteration may bring you a step closer to motherhood.First Published: Jul 20, 2012 at 7:50 AM