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What is Ovulation : Its Process and 4 Tips to Track it

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 25th, 2022
10 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing your menstrual cycle is the key to understanding what is ovulation
  • Bloating, cramps, tender breasts, light bleeding are symptoms of ovulation
  • The place of your ovulation pain depends on which ovary releases the egg

The female reproductive system is a complex system because of its vital purpose. Females produce eggs and provide a safe environment like uterus for fetal development. Knowing about ovulation and menstrual cycle in general is important to understand how the female reproductive system works.

Wondering what is ovulation and how is it a part of female reproductive system? The menstruation cycle is divided into four phases 

  • Menstrual 
  • Follicular 
  • Ovulation 
  • Luteal 

Ovulation is the period when your ovary releases an egg for fertilization. It is the phase of your menstrual cycle during which you can conceive. Read on to understand what is ovulation, its process, and symptoms.

What is ovulation? 

To understand what is ovulation, it is important to learn about different organs of the female reproductive system. It consists of 5 major organs that include 

  • Fallopian tubes 
  • Uterus 
  • Vagina 
  • Ovaries 
  • Cervix 

What is ovulation

The ovaries are responsible for producing and releasing eggs. These are transported to the fallopian tubes for fertilization. The release of eggs from your ovaries is known as ovulation.  

After fertilization, the egg moves to the uterus and implants itself on the lining of the uterus. If not fertilized, the uterine lining starts shedding from your body. This shedding process is also the start of menstruation. It occurs every month during the reproductive life of a woman.  

Additional Read: What is Vaginal Dryness

Do you understand what is ovulation in a usual 28-day cycle? 

Between 6-14 days of your menstrual cycle, follicles in your ovaries begin to mature. This is a result of follicle stimulating hormones being released in the follicular phase. During 10-14 days, one of the follicles form a mature egg. On day 14, a rise in luteinizing hormones causes your ovaries to release the egg. 

Once released, the egg is transported to the fallopian tube. This phase is luteal phase and lasts till the end of your cycle. It usually lasts from day 15-28 of your cycle. During this phase, the progesterone level of your body rises. This helps in thickening of your uterine lining and prepare your uterus for pregnancy.  

When fertilized, the egg will implant itself on the uterine lining and start developing. In case your egg is not fertilized, your uterine lining will start shedding. The shedding takes place through menstruation, which usually lasts for 5 days. It also marks the start of your menstrual cycle. 

In ovulation, conception can happen during the fertile window. Fertile window is the time period before ovulation during which you can get pregnant.  It is 6 days before ovulation, including the day of ovulation. The duration is of 6 days because the sperm may be in the fallopian tubes for several days. When the egg reaches fallopian tubes, it is fertile for 24 hours after which it cannot be fertilized.  

mensural cycle phases and their durations

What are the common symptoms of ovulation?

As you near the day of ovulation, you may start experiencing more vaginal discharge than usual. Apart from this, you may also experience the following symptoms of ovulation. 

  • Spotting or light bleeding 
  • Increased sex drive 
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Bloating 
  • Cramps

During this, pain is also a common symptom. Around 40% of women experience discomfort or pain [1]. Depending on the ovary that releases the egg, you may feel pain in the right or left side of your abdomen. If the pain is severe, consult a doctor so that you can get some relief. In rare cases, ovulation pain may be a symptom of one of the following underlying conditions.  

  • Scar tissue 
  • Endometriosis
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI)

How to know if you are ovulating? 

Once you know what is ovulation, it is easy to track it. There are different ways through which you can track your ovulation. The conventional way of tracking your ovulation includes ultrasound imaging and blood tests. There are other ways too. You can determine whether you are ovulating with the help of following. 

Menstrual cycle 

Usually, it takes place in the middle of your cycle. A menstrual cycle can last for 21-35 days but in general it lasts for about 28 days. Tracking your cycle for a few months will help you get a fair idea on how long your cycle lasts.

Body temperature 

It is normal for your body temperature to increase after ovulation takes place. This rise can range between 0.3-0.7°C [2]. Checking your temperature every morning will help you notice the changes. 

 know if you are ovulating

Vaginal discharge 

It is common for you to experience more discharge just before the ovulation. Note that during this time the discharge is clearer (like egg whites) and slippery. 

Ovulation predictor kits or fertility monitors 

These OTC kits help you track your ovulation at home. They work by either tracking the LH or estrogen hormones from your urine. It gives you a brief idea about your fertility window. The fertility monitors can track more than 4 fertile days with an accuracy of 99%.

Can you have irregular ovulation? 

Yes, irregular ovulation can happen and sometimes you might not ovulate at all in certain cases. If your notice no or irregular then talk to a doctor. There several factors that may cause a change in your period. Consulting a doctor will help you identify and tackle these issues. Some common factors than can cause no or irregular ovulation are 

Additional Read: A Guide to Cervical Cancer

Knowing about your fertility cycle is important whether you are trying to conceive or not. Talking to a gynecologist will help you know what measures you need to take. Book online doctor consultation with top gynecologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way, you can ease your worries. Start prioritizing your reproductive health without delay!

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