Apr 23, 2013

When Do You Ovulate

Ovulation is the most fertile time of a woman's menstrual cycle wherein the ovary releases an egg (rarely more than one egg). Every month the egg or ovum grows inside the ovary and as it reaches a certain size, it is released by the ovary and swept in to the fallopian tube toward the uterus. For conception to occur, a woman should have sexual intercourse during the period extending from one to two days before ovulation to 24 hours afterward. Since the sperm cells can survive two to three days and the egg not more than 24 hours after ovulation, it is the most fruitful time for fertilization to occur.

When Do You Ovulate?

Ovulation is different for every women and primarily depends on the menstrual cycle. However, increase in the cervical fluid discharge, rise in basal body temperature around 10th to 14th day of the cycle, ovulation cramping or pain, etc., are some common indications of ovulation.

After Period
The answer to this question primarily depends upon the number of days in your menstrual cycle, for instance if you have a regular 28 days cycle, you will ovulate around 14 days after your period or prior to the start of your next period. Likewise, if you have a 21 days cycle and you bleed for 7 days, then you could ovulate right after your period i.e. 6th - 10th days of your cycle. But, if you have irregular period, you need to rely on other methods like ovulation prediction kits that will help you to know when you are going to ovulate. Besides this, change in the volume, consistency or color of your cervical mucus, or rise in your basal body temperature are some other ways of determining ovulation.

After a Miscarriage
During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called hCG, which suppresses the pituitary gland's production of certain hormones that usually stimulate ovulation. The hCG level drops after the pregnancy tissue is removed during miscarriage and you resume your normal menstrual cycle. Although the time duration for this to occur usually, depends upon the value of hCG present before the miscarriage, hCG suppression of the pituitary gland usually subsides within two weeks. If you had a spontaneous miscarriage without any prolonged bleeding or any other infectious symptoms, you will start ovulating within 2 - 4 weeks after the miscarriage. However, the best way to know if you are ovulating or not is to buy an ovulation kit or count the days or have a blood test to confirm the date on which the ovulation starts.

While on Birth Control
The combination pills i.e., pills containing both estrogen and progesterone, work in several ways to prevent pregnancy, of which the most important one is preventing ovulation. The pill thickens the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from entering the womb and dilutes the womb lining so the fertilized egg can't implant. Irregular compliance or intake of pills, or any interference due to other medications can cause a woman ovulate even when she is taking birth control pills. Though it is difficult to say when you will ovulate, changes in vaginal discharge or cervical fluid are unlikely to be results of ovulation while you are still taking contraceptives.

After Stopping the Pill
After stopping the pill, it may take as few as four or five days or as much as several months to start ovulating. However, in most cases a woman can ovulate again around two - three weeks after taking her last birth control pill or in other words, she can have the natural menstrual cycle approximately 4 - 6 weeks after she stops taking the pill. Whereas in case you had irregular cycles before taking the pill, it's quite possible that you may have irregular ovulation cycles once you stop taking the medication. Moreover, having a period soon after you stop taking the pill doesn't mean that you have ovulated as sometimes it may take a few more weeks or months before you are actually fertile again.

After Giving Birth
One of the most important parameter that reflects the ovulating condition of a woman after delivery is whether she is regularly breastfeeding the baby or not. Research shows that for breastfeeding moms, the hormones that help to feed the baby, suppress the body's ability to ovulate, hence menstruation starts in about 20 weeks after the childbirth. This means that the ovulation may begin in about 18 weeks after the delivery and if the baby continues to feed around the clock, the ovulation period can be pushed off for a year or so. However, a woman who is not breastfeeding the baby, can expect her period to return in about 10 weeks.

Though one can not estimate the exact time for ovulation to start, the above given information can help you to evaluate the approximated time. However, for more confirmation, it is any time better to consult a gynecologist or conduct an ovulation prediction test using an ovulation prediction kit.


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