Ovulation and Getting Pregnant

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1. What Is Ovulation?

Many women do not know much about ovulation before they start on their journey to try to conceive. Ovulation is the process of the mature egg being released from the fallopian tube, where it will travel down to the uterus to potentially be fertilized and result in a pregnancy.

Ovulation-is-the-process-of-the-mature-egg-being-released-from-the-fallopian-tube,-where-it-will-travel-down-to-the-uterus-to-potentially-be-fertilized-and-result-in-a-pregnancy

Ovulation is the very core of getting pregnant, and if you are trying to conceive, you will quickly become very familiar with the process of ovulation. Ovulation occurs only once each month, and the few days following ovulation are the only days during the month that a woman can potentially get pregnant. Therefore, if you are trying to get pregnant, it is incredibly important to know when you are ovulating.

2. When Do You Ovulate?

Obviously, women ovulate on different days, and there is no way to know when each woman’s ovulation cycle will occur. Ovulation can be calculated by starting with the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) or by calculating 12-16 days from the next expected period.

Ovulation-can-be-calculated-by-starting-with-the-first-day-of-the-last-menstrual-period-(LMP)-or-by-calculating-12-16-days-from-the-next-expected-period

Most women will ovulate between day 11 and day 21 of their period. There are several ways to track ovulation. Women can pay attention to their cervical mucus to watch for ovulation, as cervical mucus will turn to the consistency of egg whites at ovulation time.

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Women can also chart and track their basal body temperature with a basal body thermometer each day and watch for a spike in the temperature which will indicate ovulation. If those options seem too hard, women can simply use an over the counter ovulation predictor kit to tell them when they are ovulating. You can even download online software that can help to chart your cycle and tell when you are ovulating.

3. More About Ovulation

It is important to remember that the egg will only live for 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary during ovulation, so it is important to be ready to fertilize the egg when it is released. Some couples opt to have sex right before ovulation so that the sperm will already be waiting for the egg when it is released.

Some-couples-opt-to-have-sex-right-before-ovulation-so-that-the-sperm-will-already-be-waiting-for-the-egg-when-it-is-released

Other couples have sex several times on ovulation day for the best chance of getting pregnant. Each couple has their own way of doing things. Also remember that typically, only one egg is released from the ovary each month. In some cases, two eggs might be released, and that is when twins result.

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It is important to also note that a woman can have her period even if she hasn’t ovulated, and she can ovulate even if she hasn’t had her period. The two are not mutually exclusive. If you have any questions or concerns about ovulation and how it relates to pregnancy, be sure to ask your doctor.

Dr. Lynette Weiss is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician and Scientific Director. She is certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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