When a couple decides to conceive, the first thing that they track is the ovulation cycle of the woman. She can only become pregnant if fertilization of the egg happens during the active ovulation phase. It is important to understand how ovulation cycles and the window of fertility work so that the pregnancy can be planned accordingly. The chances of conception increase considerably by this method.
What do you mean by ovulation?
Ovulation is the process by which eggs are released by the ovaries. The middle of the menstrual cycle is generally highlighted by this event. During ovulation, the sperm has to go through the vagina and uterus and reach a structure called the fallopian tube. Fertilization between the released egg and the sperm takes place here.
After fertilization takes place, the cell body undergoes multiplication and keeps descending the fallopian tube to the uterus. By the time it reaches the area of attachment in the uterus, it forms an almost 100-celled structure called a blastocyst. It gets attached to the uterine wall and the cells divide even further. Some cells become specialized to form the baby while others are mainly concerned with protecting it and giving it the necessary nutrition. The formation of a placenta which is a connecting link between the mother and child is seen here as well. More hormones are formed and released during this period. This prevents the shedding of the uterine walls which is otherwise seen during periods. Since the hormones maintain the uterine lining, periods are not encountered during pregnancy, which is an important sign. The detection of the hormones forms an integral part of ovulation tests.
Importance of knowing the fertility window
The chances of pregnancy are increased when a couple has sexual intercourse during the fertility window. It usually lasts for 3 days and starts 5-6 days after the completion of the menstrual cycle. Post-ovulation, the egg survives around 20- 24 hours. It is the most susceptible to fertilization during the fertility window so that the chances of becoming pregnant increase.
Tracking the ovulation cycle
The length of the menstrual cycle is the simplest method. However, some other applicable tests are-
- A textural change in the mucus of the cervix after periods get over.
- Mild to moderate pain in the belly at the time of ovulation.
- Libido is increased along with the sexual drive during this time.
- Ovulation kits to check for LH (Luteinizing Hormone) in the urine
Is performing ovulation tests required?
If a couple wants to ascertain the dates of ovulation to plan the fertilization accurately, different ovulation tests can help in this determination. The luteinizing hormone is detected in these tests for accurate measurement.
A couple can also visit a doctor and get an ultrasound to confirm the ovulation cycle accurately.