Questions & Answers about Ovulation,
Conception, and Implantation
"Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle is critical
to charting fertility, predicting ovulation, and increasing your chances
When can I expect ovulation take place? And when
am I most fertile?
You are most fertile in the days just prior to ovulation
- and the day ovulation takes place. For many women, ovulation occurs
around fourteen days after the start of a woman's cycle (or cycle
day one - the first sign of menstrual bleeding). There are different methods
ovulation - and these strategies are indicated below and throughout
ibabydust.com (from observing midcycle pains to bbt charting).
It is also recommended to fertility chart, or at least
maintain an ovulation
calendar so you can calculate the approximate date of ovulation. You
can do this by determining the average length of your menstrual cycles
over the past several months - and then subtract the length of your luteal
phase from the length (total amount of days) in your cycle. If your cycle
is irregular, then an ovulation calendar, by itself, may not be sufficient
for accurately predicting fertility. Fertility charting and pinpointing
natural fertility signs (see below) provide a more accurate, nuanced,
and detailed ovulation prediction strategy for becoming pregnant sooner.
What is the Luteal Phase?
The Luteal Phase is the time period starting the day after you ovulate
and continuing throughout the rest of your cycle (up to the first day
of your next cycle). For most women, the luteal phase runs about 14 days
or so and is generally consistent from cycle to cycle. Of course, the
duration of the luteal phase may vary depending on your cycle length.
The luteal phase is dominated by the hormone progesterone (which causes
your body to warm up).
You can discover when you ovulate by measuring your basal temperature.
At the start of the luteal phase, your resting (basal) body temperature
increases in order to create a fertile environment for the embryo and
to support implantation.
As a general rule, you can predict your ovulation date by subtracting
the length of your luteal phase from the total length of your average
menstrual cycle. Example: If your cycle is 28 days long
and your luteal phase last 14 days, then ovulation may occur on the 14th
day of your cycle (28 days -14 days = cycle day 14).
Needless to say, calculating ovulation by this method may not work for
everyone. Women may have irregular cycles and ovulation cycle can be disrupted
now and then by health issues, travel, stress, diet, insomnia, etc.
When is the best time to become pregnant?
Peak fertility is classically understood to consist
of the days just before ovulation and the day you ovulate. As the egg
can only live for 24 hours maximum, conception must take place within
this brief time period. Your fertile period (when you are fertile but
not at peak fertility), starts about four to five days before ovulation
(due to the fact that sperm, under optimum conditions like abundant cervical
mucus, can live in your body for a number of days) and lasts until 1 day
after ovulation. Therefore, your "fertile time" - the window
of opportunity where lovemaking can lead to conception - is around 7 days.
However, this is optimistic and requires optimum conditions for sperm
survival as well as sperm health. To increase the odds of becoming pregnant,
we advise trying to determine when you are at peak fertility.
What is an LH-Surge?
Ovulation is the process by which an egg (or ovum) is released from the
ovarian follicle. After ovulation, the egg moves down the fallopian tube
toward the uterus where fertilization may take place. Just before ovulation,
a salient hormonal change gets underway - a sudden increase in Luteinizing
Hormone, aka the LH Surge. LH is the hormone that causes ovulation. Hence,
ovulation tests (OPKs) work by sensing this surge in luteinizing hormone
and alerting the woman that ovulation is about to take place. An LH surge
will take place between 12 and 36 hours before ovulation. And since the
LH surge is quick - you may only receive one day of positive results.
If you do see a positive, it is recommended to make love the day of the
first positive ovulation test result, as well as the following two to
three days after.
What are Ovulation Pains?
Another common fertility sign is mittelschmerz. A german word that translates
as "middle pain", mittelschmerz is a pain on one side of your
lower abdominal area. Mittelschmerz can take place before, during, or
after ovulation and the pain may last a short time (seconds) or as long
as an hour or more. Not all women experience these mid cycle pains. However,
if you are fertility charting, do leave a space open on your chart for
mittelschmerz as a common natural fertility symptom (or indicator).
What are the key method to predict ovulation?
Basal Body Temperature: BBT
charting (or the basal body temperature method) requires you to track
and record your resting temperature each day before you get out of bed.
Temperature rises are caused by the sudden increase of the hormone progesterone
right after you ovulate. When ovulation takes place, your body temperature
will typically increase about 0.4°F and 0.8°F. The underlying physiological
reason for the temperature increase is the creation of a warm, fertile
environment for the embryo (following conception). This basal temperature
increase will typically last from ovulation, through your luteal phase,
and up until your next cycle.
The Cervical Mucus Method:
By observing and tracking changes in your cervical fluids (CM), you can
predict your fertility patterns and the general window of your fertile
time. Just after menstruation, the amount of cervical mucuous will be
less, and the quality will be "hostile" (e.g., sticky, unclear,
won't stretch between your fingers). However, just before you ovulate,
your cervical fluid will become noticeably more present. The quality of
the fluid will change as well, becoming translucent or clear, as well
as being slippery and stretchy. The fertile quality cervical fluid indicates
the effect of estrogens and signals that ovulation is about to take place.
- Ovulation predictor kits (OPK) and fertility microscopes are the two
main methods women use to test for ovulation. Urine ovulation
tests, as noted above, indicate the lh surge: the increase in luteinizing
hormone that takes place right before you ovulate. Ovulation microscopes
like Fertile Focus assist in predicting fertility by alerting you to the
increase in estrogen which occurs several days before ovulation. Many
women use these tests together, as they pinpoint complementary fertility
hormones (estrogen and lh).
The Calendar Method:
The calendar method allows you to recognize general patterns in fertile
and infertile times of the month. The calendar method involves keeping
a written record of your cycle length and helps you predict ovulation
by understanding the history of your menstrual cycles.
What is Fertilization?
Following ovulation, the egg is capable of fertilization for approximately
12-24 hours. Fertilization occurs near the bottom of the fallopian tube.
Fertilization is when a sperm penetrates the egg. Following this penetration,
implantation must take place.
What is Implantation
Once the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage (approximately five to six days after fertilization), it begins the process of implantation. Implantation takes place when the egg attaches or implants in the uterus.
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