It is the dream of every woman to become pregnant. The happiest and most wonderful occurrence and experience in a woman’s life. A woman trying to get pregnant should watch out for signs of ovulation. Female body is built in such a manner so as to accommodate a baby in it.
During menstruation, women ovulate. Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovaries. After this, the egg is ready and available for fertilization by a sperm. Usually menstruation happens once in 28 to 35 days. In this period, the ovulation happens in the middle, say after 14 days from the first day of the last cycle, till about 21 days. There is a surge in hormones which releases the most ripe egg and this egg then travels down the fallopian tube and there fertilizes with a sperm.
Almost every month one egg gets released for fertilization. In anticipation of a fertilization, the walls of the uterus become thick. If there is no conception, the uterus lining and the blood comes out of the body. This bleeding is called menstruation.
Women are fertile only during the time of ovulation every month. Ovulation lasts for about 24 hours every month. Once an egg is released from the ovary it needs to become fertilized. Otherwise it will die within 12 to 24 hrs. In some cases, more than one egg can get released, within 24 hrs of each other.
It is good to note down the dates of the previous menstrual cycle and calculate the best time that you will ovulate. This is all the more important for women whose periods are irregular. There are signs when a woman is ovulating. These are:
- Spotting, whether light or heavy.
- Tenderness or soreness of breast
- Bloating of the body
- Ovulation pain: This can be in the form of cramps, discomfort or pain in the abdomen or pelvis. It could be a mild twinge or a severe pain. It could last for a few minutes or in some cases a few hours. It is usually felt on one side of the lower abdomen. Usually it depends on which ovary is releasing the egg. So it could be left or right depending on that. In some women there could also be a pain or discomfort in the lower back.
- Increased sex drive
- Body basal temperature is the reading first thing in the morning, as soon as you get up. Increase in body basal temperature suggests that you could be ovulating.
- Cervical mucus: After the menstrual cycle ends, the quantity of cervical mucus will be less. As ovulation approaches, the mucus in the vagina becomes very wet, sticky and slippery. This is another common symptom.
- The cervix is usually low, firm and closed in cases where women are not ovulating. But as ovulation approaches, it becomes softer and more open. You can check your cervix using two fingers and guess if you are ovulating or not.
Though ovulation is a once a month occurence, women can become pregnant in a six day window. This includes 5 days before ovulation and the day you ovulate. The sperm can live in the body of a woman for 3 to 5 days. So there could be a sperm which may fertilize the egg as it travels down the fallopian tube. This is where conception takes place. If the egg gets fertilized it will travel through the fallopian tube into the uterus. It attaches itself to the walls of the uterus and from then on the development of a baby starts.
Some factors such as having a thyroid problem, imbalance in sex hormones etc prevent women from ovulating. These factors can affect the ability of a woman in releasing an egg. Also ovulation gets affected if a woman is under stress. Some women do not ovulate at all. But not ovulating does not equate to no menstruation. The thickened wall of the uterus which prepare every month for a fertilization, will shed and come out along with blood. So menstruation will take place irrespective of whether you are ovulating, though the cycle could be lighter and shorter than for normal women.
Pregnancy brings with it complications and concern in some cases. Some women might have such a normal pregnancy that many a time they will not even remember that they are carrying and go about their routine activities. Women trying for a baby should definitely remember the period that they ovulate as they are fertile in that time frame.